So Long, Buff Puff

The beloved UPrep competition cancelled this fall


Photo: Jonathan Karas

A deflated volleyball and football symbolize the absence of the games from Fall 2021 at UPrep.

The return to in-person school this fall marked the return of many University Prep traditions and events. One main event that is not returning, however, is junior vs. senior Buff Puff and Power Puff. Anticipated by upperclassmen every fall, these competitions that pit junior versus senior girls in a game of flag football and the boys in volleyball have been cancelled.
Director of Upper School Joel Sohn believes that the concepts of these events are outdated, leading the administration to cancel the events.
“Over time, you have now seen more girls participating in football on a national scale. Since the landscape has changed, it seems odd that we would still maintain these traditions,” Sohn said. “When we say things like Buff Puff and Power Puff, we are talking about genders playing different sports, and we are still thinking in the binary and not thinking in a gender expansive way.”
The news of these cancellations left members of the student body disappointed. In a survey of more than 70 Upper School students, just 4% of respondents indicated that they were happy with the administration’s decision to cancel these events.
“All throughout high school to this point I have looked forward to playing in Power Puff, so when I heard it was canceled, I was pretty sad about the whole thing,” junior Paige Thoreson said.Thoreson, like many other students who responded to the survey, felt like they were missing out on an important tradition.
Students also felt excluded from the decision-making process. Many were surprised by the news of the games going out without any true announcement from school leadership.“It was a UPrep tradition, and it was cancelled without any real explanation as to why.’’ junior Nat Reed said.
Despite the student backlash, there is potential for transforming the games into something more current and gender-inclusive.
“I’ve seen other schools transitioning some of these events into faculty vs staff or grade level sets of competitions that anyone could participate in,” Sohn said.
It appears that ASB feels the same way.
“The discussions are definitely happening and we at ASB are really advocating for continuing the traditions while being sensitive to the issues,” ASB representative Katherine Kang said.
While the events are gone for now, there is potential for a revamped return in the future with the cooperation of the administration and ASB.