Debunking school myths

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Many people have heard the rumor about getting hit by a car on Hanna Avenue leading to free tuition, but do not jump in front of that car just yet. As it turns out, this free tuition dream is a school myth and completely false. According to an old issue of The Reflector, the first student to get hit by a car on Hanna Avenue was in 1998. The student received 15 staples in his head and zero tuition money.

“There are always myths of how you can get free tuition,” said Vice President for Student and Campus Affairs and Dean of Students Kory Vitangeli.

Vitangeli has also been asked about falling out of bed and hitting your head  can lead to free tuition, which is not true.

Free tuition may be myth, but what about students swimming in the canal before they graduate? Some may have heard students talk about doing exactly that.

Through her 12 years of working at UIndy, Vitangeli said that students have talked about doing that.

“But I don’t think it’s a tradition that everyone knows about,” she said. “I do think there is this kind of underground talk of students doing it. And I know there are quite a few students who have tried to do it. I don’t know if I’d call it a tradition, but I think it happens.”

If it does happen, there must be a significant number of students swimming in the canal to create the conversation.

“My friends and I have talked about swimming in the canal before we graduate,” said senior sports marketing and sports management major Niki Lobo. “But we haven’t actually done it. We think it will be good luck on finals.”

But can students get fined for swimming in the canal? According to Vitangeli, the handbook says nothing about getting fined for being in the canal.

Of course, the canal is not a swimming pool, but there is no fine. There are other rumors about different types of fines, similar to the canal rumor, that also are most likely not true.

One of the oldest myths known to most colleges and universities is the 10-minute rule.  This is the myth that when a professor is late to class, after 10 minutes the students may leave. As it turns out, this  also is false.

“There is no written rule anywhere that says you don’t have to wait longer than 10 minutes,” Vitangeli said. “But that is definitely, I think, something that people think is true.”

Other myths Vitangeli has been asked about include buildings being haunted, such as Ransburg and some of the residence halls.

According to university archivist and associate librarian Christine Guyonneau, Elnora Krannert may be haunting the library.

These myths and others have been passed along by students over the years.

“Out of all of those, probably the canal one [myth] is the most prevalent that I think seems to kind of travel year after year,” Vitangeli said.

Even though the myths about free tuition are exactly that, myths. Some differences of opinion exist about students swimming in the canal and ghosts in the buildings.


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