B.M.O.C.'s: A Case Study
Cabbages and Kings
Long engaged in scholarly pursuit, the men of Princeton are currently investigating that fine American institution of "Big Men on Campus." Harvard could perhaps offer them a variety of such gentlemen if there were not a language difficulty, but, even so, a far more absorbing area is available for their scrutiny. It is the state of Louisiana, which might well be the final word in these matters. Louisiana, is a beautiful state, and it abounds in bayous, New Orleans, and, of course, B.M.O.C.'s.
Just why this is so presents no problems, as the Big Men on any Louisiana campus will reveal. Huey Long is their man, an Idol of the idols. He awed the people, and the B.M.O.C. have taken the clue.
Some young doctor is supposed to have wandered into the Capitol and shot Huey, but an even 70 percent of the B.M.O.C.'s known it was his bodyguard, who was after money or something. Naturally, an even 70 percent of the B.M.O.C.'s don't trust their friends. More specific cases will be enlightening.
The most prevalent type of Louisiana B.M.O.C. is undoubtedly the ruler of the Student Government, the central control for dances and such. His technique of gaining control is well documented by the recent elections at Southeastern College in Hammond, La. "Specks" (a catchy name for vote winning) had hundreds of signs and elever gimmicks like a clock that said "Time to vote..." He even had an imitation rock pile that read "Rockalong with Specks." Within ten minutes after the display mysteriously burned down a new sign announced "Keep it clean, boys--'Specks'"
If an aspiring B.M.O.C. is not a politician he must publicize himself by becoming spectacular, or at least different. At Tulanc University technical perfection in some sport is enough to turn the public fancy. Tennis heroes are presently leading the list. Good oratory is also a key to the Big Man club, although the President of the Tulance Debaters bolsters his prestige position by wearing a charcoal grey suit (one of the three at the University).
Although Fraternity membership is usually a background for the B.M.O.C.'s, the great numbers included in these ranks leave many in the battle to the top. One of the few truly B.M.O.C.'s is the modest caretaker of the LSU pet Tiger (18 years old). He feeds the Tiger and drives him to distant games. Everyone loves the caretaker. When the keeper and the Tiger were in a traffice accident this last fall, over 2,000 alumni wrote in sympathy. Only 500 were directly addressed to the Tiger, giving the B.M.O.C. an obvious edge.