The Buck Starts Here

Being a guy on Stanford’s campus can mean a lot of things.  For those of us who choose the Fraternity route (guilty), we find a close group of dudes that share similar interests and enjoy much of the same things.  But for the rest of the crowd, whether an athlete with other time commitments or even a normal college student who just wasn’t *feeling *Greek life, the broad and open campus can feel very compartmentalized.  Many people find their cliques early on, and for the next four years roll with that pack, largely ignoring the broader community, with the exception of football games and non-Greek activities like Full Moon and the Quad.  At Stanford there’s so much to do that it can be extremely overwhelming to try and get the most out of Stanford and meet everyone.

For Stanford men, this may change soon.  On October 2, campus gentlemen introduced to The Buck—a self-proclaimed “Men’s Interest Magazine” founded by two current Stanford students David Perez ‘13 and John Lawrence ‘14.  In its mission statement Lawrence writes, “I came to the realization that there wasn’t much of anything on campus for guys like me.”  So last summer he and longtime high school friend David Perez got to work on what would eventually become The Buck, a magazine written for normal guys who want a broader community than their close group of friends with whom they can share ideas and discuss their interests. The magazine itself seems a hybrid of the tone and colloquialism in Total Frat Move (TFM) and GQ.

The inaugural Buck covered a broad spectrum: Sports profiled the Cardinal football team, Fashion presented a sartorial analysis of tailgating, Music detailed the rise of R&B artist Frank Ocean, Politics discussed the first Presidential debate, and Social Etiquette explored (among other things) the pros and cons of adding olive brine to your martini – keeping it classy, no doubt.  “We want to have someone cover food in the area.  And people always seem to be interested in what the Tree is doing.  So those are two areas we’re also looking into for the future,” said Perez.

When asked about his motivations for starting the magazine, Lawrence replied, “I wanted to do something that would impact people, to create a legacy and a physical presence on campus.

Perez echoed this statement, saying, “We want to create a community atmosphere.  We want it to be something that people enjoy and hopefully they take something out of it.  And because they’re taking something out of it, they will want to contribute back to it.  We want people to talk about it.”

It’s promising, but the first iteration leaves room for improvement.  The Buck’s problem is how to get everyone more involved. As much as I found the articles in the magazine to be interesting and enjoyable (5.5” X 8.5” magazine dimensions are ideal for hiding behind a notebook during class), it needs to get people reading, talking and giving feedback.  Most guys on campus share commonalities with each other, but there has never been a sphere where we can all discuss and identify common interests. For that reason, I like The Buck and hope it succeeds.  But there is a catch.  The gentlemen of Stanford need to go out and talk to their friends about what they like or didn’t like.  Share opinions and see what others have to say.  Start the conversation and keep the ball rolling. As clever as it makes me sound, I do not want to be saying “The Buck stops here” with men’s interest on the Farm. But this effort will undoubtedly be something we all benefit from more if we make it what we want and help Perez and Lawrence get the kinks out.  If that happens, then The Buck will only be starting here.

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