The Scout – College student handbook (1924 -1963)
One of the most underrated items in Juniata College history is The Scout, so named due to Juniata’s mascot, “The Indians,” for much of its history. From its earliest rendition in 1924 to its final copy in 1963, The Scout has provided a variety of insight for students, from basic college regulations, to athletics, and social events. Looking back onto the pages of The Scout can give one a feeling of time travel. Over the span of the forty years that The Scout was in print, not only did it provided helpful insight and rules to all Juniata students, but it also provides us today with an idea of how times have changed, specifically between the 1920s and the 1960s. Today, The Scout sits in a box in L.A. Beeghly Library, but fifty years ago, this trusty guide was seen in every freshman’s hands around campus.
The life of a freshman at Juniata College changed from the twenties to the sixties, alongside changes on the campus, the United States went through some dramatic changes, including the Great Depression, World War II, and the Civil Rights Movement. One obvious area that changed was that of the social relations between men and women. In the 1920s, men and women could only spend time together during specific hours and at specific locations. A chaperone had to be present at all social functions. Women could not even get into a car with a man without the supervision of a chaperone. In the 1960s there were still regulations regarding the relations between male and female students, males were not permitted in female dorms and all alcohol was banned on campus. It is natural for a present-day student to view these and immediately see these regulations as extreme and somewhat heavy-handed in policing morality. While there is some truth there, it also served as a way of teaching discipline and respect, and a guide for how men are supposed to treat women.
The Scout also conveyed the dress codes and “helpful hints” for all Juniata freshmen. The students of Juniata College wore mostly classic fashion styles, such as blazers and ties. Women were required to wear skirts and sweaters, but were permitted to wear casual Bermuda shorts and slacks for labs in the sixties. The women’s dress code changed a little over the forty years of The Scout, beginning with the introduction of shorts and slacks in the sixties. So what were these helpful hints? While primarily seen in The Scout during the twenties, helpful hints provide a level of advice that could still be in use today. Many of the hints are in regards to good manners, but personally, the best three are as stated, “If you get homesick, get busy and forget,” “Don’t spend Dad’s money uselessly,” and “Don’t do what you’d be ashamed to have the folks at home know.”
The Scout reflects the role of many clubs throughout Juniata’s history, especially the big yearly events that Juniata hosted. Between Homecoming, Mountain Day, Lege Mixer, and May Day, students also had opportunities to participate in social functions.
In the 1920s, The Scout listed quite strict and clear a rules circumscribing the behavior of women. Freshman women were not allowed to go to any social or athletic game with a man during the first semester nor could they stand or sit on the campus in conversation with any male student during the first semester. Freshman in the sixties had to attend all football games and carry The Scout at all times. During Homecoming, if freshman students won two or more events then they didn’t have to follow certain rules. Throughout much of the late twenties and early thirties a New Era emerged. The New Era poured in a wave of extracurricular activities such as music, public speaking and the arts. The Bailey Oratorical contest was created in 1926 for awarding exemplary speaking and the results were published in the next year’s issue. Juniata experienced a variety of musical influences. President M. G. Brumbaugh stated that the orchestra “directs the interests of all students to the right kind of music” and discouraged the liking of suspect jazz and dance music. Juniata even created men and women Glee clubs, which became a huge success. Alongside music, the Juniata Spiritual Emphasis Week became a phenomenon that would allow students to create Bible study sessions that were specifically focused on student-oriented experiences. Through Juniata’s New Era phenomenon and guidance from The Scout, a new wave of student oriented organizations and opportunities would set the prescient for future Juniata students.
The Scout existed to establish the basic rules, regulations for student behavior and to serve as a helpful introduction to the campus community. The Scout included important information such as how to dress and act to the helpful guides to remembering the school’s fight songs for sporting events. Many times, The Scout provided the opportunity for local businesses to advertise their brands. The Scout made a profound impact upon all Juniata students over the course of its forty year existence.
While the Scout is no longer in use, its components of individualism, respect, and diversity are still seen today on Juniata’s campus. The Scout’s role of conveying rules, spreading knowledge of the campus community, and being a reference for campus life are all done through the web today.
Mason Sherry ‘18
Kaylor, Earl C. Truth Sets Free: A Centennial History of Juniata College,1876-1976. Huntingdon: Juniata College Press, 2001.
The Scout. Huntingdon: Juniata College, 1924-1963.