On a scale of one to ten, how easy is it to spot a Baylor student out in the Waco community? To get the scoop, I interviewed members in the community in the aisles of WalMart. I asked shoppers which signs identified Baylor Bears outside of their natural habitat.
The No. 1 one way respondents said they could spot Baylor students was by Baylor or Baylor-related T-shirts, jerseys, shorts, caps, auto decals and accessories.
“A lot of times they’re in Baylor shirts or have got some kind of Baylor logo on them someplace,” said Clint Anderson, 49, of Waco.
Of the 12 respondents who mentioned Baylor gear as an identifying factor, four said it was the only marker they could think of.
The second most common response concerned Baylor students’ general appearance.
For the most part, people said generally positive things about Baylor students’ dress and appearance. Adjectives included youthful, attractive, nicely-dressed, athletic, preppy and well-kept.
Dress is also a distinguishing factor.
“They dress like college students. Socks and flip flops,” said Angela Schulz, 40, of Waco.
Six respondents mentioned t-shirts specifically as one of the identifying markers of a Baylor student.
One respondent said she found Baylor students’ dress simply inappropriate.
“They dress half-naked,” said Ann Johnson, 55, of Waco.
Responses concerning attitude came in third place.
Johnson weighed in on this as well.
“They’re very disrespectful. They don’t have any manners,” Johnson said.
Unlike Johnson, five other respondents found Baylor students to be pleasant or at least harmless.
Attitude descriptors mentioned by respondents were nice, perky, outgoing, dignified, pleasant, courteous and polite.
Another respondent added “confused” to the list.
“I don’t know if it’s because they’re away from home, or just because they don’t know Waco,” said Kelly, 33, of Waco, who declined to give her last name.
Finally, the fourth most common tip-off mentioned: Baylor students travel in packs.
“Rarely do you see one at a time,” said Allen Clark, 38, of Waco. “It’s usually a group of college-age kids.”
This response was cited by four different respondents, one of whom also mentioned speed as a factor.
“They’ll have two or three in a group. They move more rapidly, just like zing, zing, zing,” said Joe Singer, 53, of Waco.
“They’re real quick, especially the girls,” he said.
Only two respondents said they could identify Baylor students without reference to clothing, dress or age.
Other respondents saw few distinctions.
“There’s no real tip-off. Just by what they wear. Nothing social-wise,” said Karen Darcy, 44, of Waco, who is also an alumna.
One resident said he didn’t see a distinction at all.
“I really can’t. I’ve lived in Waco all my life, so to me, everyone’s just a person,” said Gary Brink, 62, of Waco.