Rules for Bucks

Once upon a time, as the saying goes, new students were known as “Bucks.”  Williston Academy alumni prior to around 1966 may recall an annual fall performance called the “Buck Party,” in which all new arrivals to the campus were expected to demonstrate their talents, if they had any.  If they didn’t, they acted in skits.

The Buck Party was a mostly innocuous vestige of a larger tradition.  Back in the Good Old Days, which is sometimes a euphemism for the Bad Old Days, new boys were subject to a certain amount of welcoming “indoctrination.”  Today we call it “hazing” and do not tolerate it, either as an institution or as individuals, regardless of its intent.

But it is part of our shared history, and should thus be considered — especially when one comes across a document that is not only witty but very much a reflection of its times.  The text below first appeared in the 1912 Log.  This printed placard, ideal for dorm room decoration, must date from around then.

Your questions and comments are encouraged.  Please use the link below.

2 thoughts on “Rules for Bucks”

  1. I remember the “put a hat on when you go outside” that was enforced during the cold months of my time at Williston, 1958-60, but it had nothing to do with “Bucks.” Rather, Phil Stevens was (I think) behind this because he believed that it helped keep the rate of colds and flu down. Not sure whether Headmaster Stevens had read Benjamin Franklin on the subject, for Ben had the opposite view; that cold weather helped PREVENT, rather than spread the common cold. This is what led ol’ Ben to begin each day with a 30-min regimen of deep breathing exercises in front of an open window, rain or shine, cold or warm. In the nude. Not totally convinced that in those days, Headmaster Stevens was ready to promote his school with the sight of a couple of hundred boys imitating Ben each morning!

    1. Among the many ironies of the time, it is a matter of record that the school physician, Henry “Doc” Donais, hated hats and refused to wear one. There was also no regulation of other winter clothing. Thus, one met the letter of the law crossing the snowy campus in gym shorts and basketball jersey, as long as one’s head was covered.

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