"Baylor Bubble” is a term used at Baylor University in Waco since at least 1980. The “Baylor bubble” refers to Baylor’s beautiful campus and many undergraduates from wealthy families, creating a “bubble” that cuts the students off from the rest of Waco and the outside world.
Wikipedia: Baylor University
Baylor University is a private, Baptist-affiliated research university located in Waco, Texas. It is the largest Baptist university in the world by enrollment. Founded in 1845, Baylor is the oldest university in Texas continuously operating under its original name; Southwestern University predates Baylor by five years, but has undergone various name changes and was closed for several years during Reconstruction. Baylor is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools. The Baylor University campus is located just southeast of downtown Waco, roughly bounded by IH-35, La Salle Avenue, Eighth Street and the Brazos River. The university is known for its programs in business, law, music, theology and science. Bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate and professional degrees are offered through eleven degree-granting academic units.
9 April 1980, New York (NY) Times, “Dispute Over Playboy Photos Is Just a ‘Wart’ to Baylor’s President,” pg. A20:
WACO, Tex., April 8—Abner McCall, the president of Baylor University, has lost patience with the controversy over Playboy magazine.
Many people at this university, where dancing, card playing and alcohol are forbidden, agree with Dr. McCall. But his assertion that he would discipline any female students who contributed to the magazine’s proposed feature on “The girls of the Southwest Conference” has brought opposition.
“They’re too busy being Baptists and not enough being Christians,” said Brenda Christmas, a 20-year-old junior who was one of 80 students who agreed to an interview with a Playboy photographer, David Chan. “They’re too concerned with maintaining the Baylor bubble.”
But everyone on both sides of the issue seems to agree that the Baylor bubble will outlast Playboy.
Selective Guide to Colleges
by Edward B. Fiske
New York, NY: Times Books
“They call it the Baylor Bubble,” explains a business major, “because everyone has a sort of naive, innocent look at the world. Sometimes it’s exasperating, sometimes nice.”
American Dialect Society listserve (October 27, 1999)
Baylor doesn’t have a nasty nickname (although one hears nonce nicknames like “Baleful"), but here everyone talks about “the (Baylor) bubble.” Living in the Baylor bubble is a state of mind in which everything is good with the world, Jesus loves you (and he’ll love you more if you’re a bulimic with a nose job who’s pledged Chi-O), and everyone in the world has the inherent right to a Ford Explorer and a 4.0. Students refer to “Betty and Bobby Baylor”—the stereotypical relentlessly cheery, well-off students with “good morals” and good looks and an innocent approach to the world colored by their southern Baptist religion and the ease with which they get through live on their parent’s money. While most people use the terms negatively ("I have to get out of the bubble"), a lot of them take comfort in the homogeneity of the student body.
M. Lynne Murphy, Assistant Professor in Linguistics
Department of English, Baylor University
PO Box 97404, Waco, TX 76798 USA
Google Groups: mn.politics
From: S. Smith
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 18:51:03 -0600
Local: Wed, Feb 21 2001 8:51 pm
Subject: Take active responsibility for gun violence
It’s easy to be detached from the gun control issue. After all, guns would never touch someone in the Baylor Bubble!
The Lariat (Baylor University)
‘Baylor Bubble’ may exist, but students can always burst it
Jan. 23, 2003
By Ade Ifelayo
For three and a half years now, I have been fortunate to be a member of the Baylor University student body. I have had the opportunity to meet people from different cultures, environments and backgrounds.
I remember when I first came to Baylor. I didn’t really know many people who were coming here. Even if I had, it would not have mattered anyway. I was my reserved, taciturn 17-year-old self. An English class I took that fall made me open up. Rachel Moore’s class not only entailed classroom discussion from the first day, which I wasn’t too happy about, but also scheduled out-of-class activities. In it we were forced to relate with one another and learned how to better interact with people outside. I think this class was where I left my introverted coat.
As I began to explore more of the campus besides my classes and residence hall, I heard about the concept of the ‘Baylor Bubble,’ which I either did not understand or flatly disagreed with. It was not until I finally set foot off campus that it made sense to me.
I think to say that we are not an isolated sphere in the segment of the world we live is false. There is a degree of insulation around the Baylor campus. While we are here, it is difficult to keep up with what is going on in other parts of the country, let alone the world—merely because it does not directly affect us. However, some of that insulation is positive. I think, and rightly so, that there are very few places on earth in which so many well-brought-up, well-hearted, loving and caring people are aggregated in one place—people who accept you for who you are, not what you can do for them.
Bursting the Baylor Bubble
North America » United States » Texas » Waco
December 6th 2005 by goanna
The Baylor bubble refers to the phenomena of the undergraduate students at Baylor never having to leave campus to have all that they need. Alot of Waco is really poor but you would never know it from looking at the university. Thus Baylor is a bubble with the wealthy undergraduate living their privleged existence oblivious to the community.
Baylor University: Off the Record
by Kyra Mitchell, Kevin Nash, Brianne Conlan and Adam Fleming
Pittsburgh, PA: College Prowler, Inc.
Pg. 14 (Local Slang):
Baylor Bubble—the idealism and naivety Baylor fosters.
Waco-Baylor University - City-Data Forum
03-30-2007, 10:47 AM
As for the crime in Waco, it’s not a pretty picture. But I can assure you it’s not much different than a big city, the difference is Waco is smaller but with similar statistics to a big city. I grew up in a rougher neighborhood and you’re perfectly fine as long as you don’t do anything unintelligent like riding around in the ghetto at night with your doors unlocked. The problem with Baylor is that it’s situated right in the middle of that ghetto. Baylor itself is a FANTASTICALLY beautiful campus and most of the outside world of Waco never filters through to the campus itself (thus it is called the “Baylor Bubble").
Love & Lead
In leadership circles we often hear of “thinking outside the box”, but it is much easier said than done. The first challenge facing many of us in the “establishment” of leadership is admitting that we are “in the box.” Most of us pride ourselves in being creative and responsive, but too often I find myself being much more like “old wineskins” than I want to admit. My 20/20 vision of the future too often is hampered by the 2×4 in my eye. Let’s face it “2×4″ vision is not going to help us embrace the new realities of the Kingdom of God unfolding around the world.
When I was a student at Baylor in the 80’s we joked about the “Baylor Bubble.” It was our way of making light of the fact that most of us were very sheltered and isolated from the realities of the world around us, even the immediate neighborhood around the school. We walked the “green and gold” streets of Baylor immune in many ways from the harsh realities many faced. I am afraid I may have actually taken my “bubble” with me, and lived most of my life hiding behind stained-glassed windows.
This entry was posted on May 12, 2008 at 7:45 pm and is filed under The Box.
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