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The 5 College Scooby Doo Stereotype: What it Means for Mohos

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mt Holyoke chapter.

There is a fabled “Scooby Doo” stereotype regarding the Five Colleges, with one character from the classic television show supposedly characterizing each school from the consortium. Come on, even in the way-back-when era of our parents’ college days, almost everyone grew up watching the goofy re-runs. In case you weren’t already aware, Scooby represents UMass, Shaggy is Hampshire, Fred is Amherst College, Velma is a Smithie, and Daphne is our very own Mount Holyoke. If you are familiar with the show’s characters, I’m sure you can see the truth to these stereotypes. If you’re not convinced, read on!
University of Massachusetts (Scooby): All right, come on, Zoo Mass, you’re wild. And okay, as the largest and most mainstream school in the Pioneer Valley, you get to play the protagonist in our little college world. This is not to say that UMass students have a speech impediment, although that’s not guaranteed after some of the heavy drinking they’re famous for. And Scooby is a pretty sharp dog, with an unusual skill for sleuthing. However, like Scooby, UMass students are often quickly stereotyped as goofy goons rather than for the capable, serious students that they actually may be. Rooby-rooby-roooooo! 

Hampshire College (Shaggy): Obviously you’re Shaggy. Seriously, even when we were kids we all knew he was smoking a joint when we weren’t watching, hence his eccentric and constant taste in food. Hello, can you say munchies? Please. And for those who say there’s more to a Hampshire student than a scruffy appearance and a casual drug habit, you’re right! Shaggy also has an illusive yet wealthy family, despite his deceiving looks – oh hey there liberal arts tuition!

Smith College (Velma): Yep, lesbian. Just like we all knew Shaggy was stoned, we all knew Velma was more interested in Daphne than Fred. At least until graduation, given that there is some evidence of her infatuation with other fleeting characters. Especially at the time of Scooby Doo, Smith was the butch women’s college. Nerdy, and with a rather (ahem) peculiar sense of style, Velma is the in-your-face smart cookie who eventually follows a career path leading to NASA. But mad props to her for often solving those wacky mysteries!
Amherst College (Fred):Another obvious association. So preppy – he wears a friggen ascot! Ugh, thank God that trend faded out. Although he does play a helpful role in the troupe’s adventures, he’s a little naive. Sheltered, I daresay, and quite the pretty boy on the WASP track. But hey, money, good looks, and the occasional brainwave put him on the inside track with Daphne, so he did all right for himself.
Mount Holyoke (Daphne):Ah, Mount Holyoke. Pretty, and coming from a wealthy family, she certainly fits the Mount Holyoke stereotype…for better or for worse. She and Fred have a speculated (translation: obvious) romantic relationship, absolutely in line with the notorious relations between Mount Holyoke women and Amherst men (especially when it was an exclusively male institution). Poised (albeit a little clumsy), fashionable, and certainly dependent on Daddy Dearest, this stereotype is often uncomfortably accurate.

A junior at Mount Holyoke College, Madeline is majoring in English with a minor in Art History. Currently she is serving as an editor for the MH News, as well as Social Chair for the class of 2012. Her interests include art, traveling, competitive sports, writing, reading, animals of all kinds, and spending as much time with her friends as possible. Her goals include publishing her fiction, and seeing and writing about as much of the world as possible.