“Jones College Instructions to Freshman Servers,” no date

After last week’s post I got several comments from people reminiscing about their time as freshman servers. In one of those routine coincidences that I’ve come to expect, I’d  scanned this document on that exact topic just a few days before. It isn’t dated and I couldn’t even make a guess from context but . . .  that font. Does it suggest maybe 1970s?

Student wait staff in the dining halls was a tradition at Rice for a very long time, going all the way back to the beginning. You can see them standing at attention in this shot, taken in the commons in 1912:

Rice Institute Commons, dining area

And here, a jovial bunch gives us a good look at their uniforms, circa early 1930s:

I take it this is no longer a thing but I’m not clear on when it went away. As always, clarification is most welcome.

Bonus: Who knows where this is?

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17 Responses to “Jones College Instructions to Freshman Servers,” no date

  1. The purple color suggests it i a mimeographed copy. 1970’s seems a reasonable guess.

    • Sherry Lundstrom Kitchell, Jones '64 says:

      I’m pretty sure photocopies were used instead of mimeo’s by 1970.

    • Clark Trantham says:

      It looks more like a carbon copy to me. The inconsistent strength of the letters indicate it was typed by someone who was not too consistent hitting the keys. Carbon copies could be stacked up and this could have been a lower copy which did not get much imprint from the weaker key strokes.

  2. Melissa Crowfoot Keane, Jones '72 says:

    Fun! Love that oh-so-familiar purple ink!
    I recognize most of the serving methods … except for item #6. I don’t recall “grace” being said before meals at Jones, which might mean that these instructions date prior to 1968.

  3. Bob Casey, Wiess 86 says:

    We had freshman waiting at Wiess through 1986. While I don’t recall anyone being excited to serve as wait staff, it was a good way to know everyone in the college. Each waiter had 2 tables, and there was a strict hierarchy on which table was to be served first. If my memory serves from freshman year, priority went in the following order: to the table with the Master (or his/her family), the RAs, any faculty, the table with the most women (Wiess was still single sex then), followed by the aggregate seniority of the students at the table. Thus, you had to know at a minimum who at your tables were seniors, juniors, etc, unless you lucked out and had an RA or woman at one of your tables. I seem to recall Dr. Bill frequently sitting with the freshmen to help them get their food on a timely basis…

  4. Anne Berkley says:

    Must be from the early days. I remember them well. Purple duplicators is what we had in the early 60’s.
    Anne Bond Berkley Jones 1961

  5. Katie Beth Gottlieb, Wiess '03 says:

    We still had freshman waiting my first year (1999-2000) for Wiess family style dinner. There were announcements and a moment of silence (that’s not nearly as serious as it sounds) and a lot of broken plates. Good times.

  6. CLARK Herring says:

    I graduated in Baker in 1978. The 4 years there was no freshman waiting. There were 8 jobs per table and everyone had a job. I am not sure that I was aware that Freshman waiting was a thing.

  7. Clark Herring says:

    While I was at Baker from1974-1978 the mimeograph machine was still being utilized. I still have party announcements from the mimeograph machine. We also had announcements before dinner as well as a moment of silence.

  8. Steve Lukingbeal, Hanszen, ‘76 says:

    Melissa, my guess is that the mimeograph was from the 60s. Freshman waiting was still done in the early 70s, but by that time there was a very rebellious undercurrent where few freshman would have complied with all the demeaning details.

  9. Matthew Noall says:

    Sid Rich had freshman serving when I matriculated in 1974 but was gone by I think 1976. It was quite contentious

  10. Randy Wile says:

    To me, it seems improbable that the instructions would include saying “grace” more recently than the early- to mid-1970’s.

  11. Leonard Lane says:

    I was a freshman at Hanszen in the fall of 1970. We certainly didn’t say “grace” before meals. I did find serving tables to be a good way to meet people.

  12. Richard Miller, Hanszen 1975 & 76 says:

    We had freshman waiting when I came in 1971. There wes pushback but it went away after the first year Hanszen went co-ed. I think we went to community serving (were different people at the table went to the back to get a particular course.

  13. Terry Cloudman says:

    In Hanszen we had freshman waiters for my entire time there from 1961 to 1966. These instructions would certainly apply to that time period and the fact that they were mimeograph also implies pre 1970

  14. David Scott says:

    My now wife arrived to Jones College in 1970, and she remembered those instructions. But she said it changed in the Spring semester from 7 days a week to just Sundays. I was in Baker from 1968 and we had similar radical changes, but that’s another story.

  15. marmer says:

    Mimeograph was common in my high school until I graduated in 1980. Freshman serving went away at Hanszen by 1981 or so. Basically, the MOB and intramurals and all the other things one could do in the late afternoon killed it.

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