Don’t believe what you hear: college urban legends

Katie Schmidt

Entering high school, many heard rumors of freshman initiation. ‘Seniors make freshmen push a pencil across the gym with their nose’ or ‘For finals in foreign language classes, the teacher leaves you stranded in public and you have to ask for directions from strangers without speaking English.’

High school maturation hasn’t put an end to the urban legends of college. Get your facts straight with some of the most common college urban legends.


The death of a roommate will earn you straight A’s

Put down the machete because this won’t boost your grades. If anything, the death of a roommate or family member will result in an appointment for grief counseling. Numerous students have also used the funeral excuse to ditch classes, so many professors require an obituary to excuse an absence.

Freshmen get food poisoning because of laxatives in the dorm food

This urban legend states laxatives are added to de-constipate stressed students during midterms and finals. This was debunked by Snopes, which said the digestive change can be credited to a new diet. After moving away from home, many students binge on junk food, which has a similar effect. Be aware of what you’re eating, even if mom isn’t around to tell you to put down the Cheetos.

You have to wait 15 minutes for a professor before you can leave class

Believe it or not, the 15 minute wait time for professors is a myth. The Colorado State University and other university student handbooks do not explicitly state that students have to wait 15 minutes for a professor to show up to class. This is simply an act of common courtesy. For that matter, it’s pretty rare that a professor will be very late.

College dorms are built to be riot-proof

Some say college dorms are built to be riot-proof. Dorm rooms are notoriously tiny, thus making it difficult for large amounts of people to gather for a riot. In reality, rooms are built small in order to maximize the amount of rooms in a dormitory. If there was an architectural trick to riot-proof college campuses, then we would still have Old Main.

Brothel laws limit the amount of sorority houses

If you’re planning on rushing, don’t believe the brothel urban legend. Many believe the reason why there aren’t more sorority houses is because the illegalization of prostitution prevented a certain amount of women living together. Female roommates don’t equate prostitution, so a sorority house isn’t automatically deemed a brothel. If the brothel rumor was true, then there would probably be a gigolo rule to prohibit fraternities.


The CSU Student Services building urban legend

The most colorful story regards the Colorado State University Student Services building. Whether this is an online urban legend or a piece of fan fiction, it is said the architect of Student Services went insane during construction and created a convoluted navigation in the building. The architect then planned to kill his wife and build himself and his wife into a room with no exit so the two could forever be entombed. The one flaw is when you think about it, even the craziest person wouldn’t want to trap themselves at school.

The next time a crazy college rumor gets out, think twice.

Gifs courtesy of

Collegian Staff Reporter Katie Schmidt can be reached at

Pick up the CSU Move-In Guide on stands now!