Bucky: The Follow-Up Interview
Eleven weeks ago, The Lying Bison was fortunate enough to print the untold story of the most recognizable face on campus, University mascot Bucky the Bison. He took us into the 60s, down a winding memory lane full of bumps and potholes–drug use, a bender with Rolling Stones leader Brian Jones, arrest, community service and finally a move to India for a journey of self-discovery with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Since his return to the States and his employment as the University mascot, the lane ahead has looked considerably smoother for Bucky, and when we left him, he was looking forward to many more years spreading school spirit at the University. Recently, The Lying Bison met again with Bucky in his favorite grazing pasture to ask his thoughts on the University’s present state and possible future.
TLB: It’s great to see you again, Bucky. Thank you for taking the time to meet.
Bucky: Likewise. I’ve become a big fan of the column since the first interview. Really good stuff. Top-notch journalism!
TLB: Thank you. Shall we jump right in?
Bucky: Of course.
TLB: You ended the last interview optimistically, saying that your future here at the University is “gonna be wonderful.” We know how you feel about the future, but what do you think of the University as it is now? Would you say it’s “wonderful?”
Bucky: [Sighs] That’s a heavy question, man, and I’ll have to be careful how I word my answer. You see, I love the University, and I love the students. Like I said last time, this school took me in when I was at my lowest—the last of my kind and nowhere to call home. For those reasons, I’m going to say that it’s great, fantastic even, but not “wonderful.” [Makes air quotes]
TLB: How so? Are you upset?
Bucky: Not at all. It’s just that to me, “wonderful” is too close to “perfect,” and that leaves no room for improvement. Remember, I said “it’s gonna be wonderful”—future tense. Someday it will be. [Pauses to eat some grass] But it’s like I learned when I went East—the past is gone, and the future is yet to be. All that matters is the present moment. That’s the time to do good, the time to improve.
TLB: And what does the University’s present look like to you right now?
Bucky: Still lovely, but just look at some of The Lying Bison’s stories the past months. You’re reporting on the room for improvement I’m talking about.
TLB: Which stories have stuck with you the most?
Bucky: The very first story you broke comes to mind. Everyone’s so focused on trends and status. Hell, they want to change the University seal to include an iPad. And then there was that other one you reported, about the abandoned shoes lying around campus on weekends. Students getting drunk and losing their shoes. Yes, Bucknellians like their parties and their Apple products and their North Face, and that’s fine! But it’s not what defines us as Bucknellians, man.
TLB: What do you think is causing this trend of excess?
Bucky: First let me say that I know a big part of college is having fun. I get that. If it wasn’t, I’d have no purpose being here. But you’re right when you say “excess,” and I think it has to do with the University’s official condemning and unofficial condoning of what the students do. We get campus climate emails, yet the bookstore is full of shot glasses, and I read in your column “bison bongs” are coming soon—although I can’t say I hate that idea. [Laughs] From what I’ve been reading on “Bison Boasts,” it sounds like they’ll be a big seller! [More laughs]
TLB: You mentioned not focusing on past or future but using the present for betterment. Do you see the University doing that at all?
Bucky: Certainly. Look at the University’s “We Do” campaign. It’s not “We Did” or “We Will.” It’s the present tense; it’s deep. When the University faced the admissions scandal, it fixed the problem and moved on rather than rest on its reputation or obsess over how that reputation might change. Who believes in transparency? “We Do.” We resolved the matter, fired those responsible and now the University will stop taking looks into account when accepting female students.
TLB: You’ve made it clear that you don’t fixate on the future, but after all we’ve discussed, what would you say about the direction in which the University is headed? Are we a long way from being “wonderful?”
Bucky: We’ve had a rough few years, but I look at the energy with which problems are being addressed and ideas are being generated, and I couldn’t be more excited. You know, I don’t think we’re all that far from being “wonderful.” We strive for betterment, and I don’t ever want Bucknell to stop improving. That’s what makes us Bucknellians, man. Trust me, this bison doesn’t lie! [Laughs]
TLB: Anything to add?
Bucky: Yes. I love this school!