Rampant Rumors

5 months ago Ashley Kline Comments Off on Rampant Rumors

Life on a small campus has many benefits, including smaller class sizes and a greater sense of community as one can’t walk across campus without at least three people saying “hi.” However, a drawback to living on a small campus, rampant rumors that have the tendency to cause uproar within 24 hours.

Earlier this year there was a rumor about the school’s mascot changing from the marlin to the lighthouse. A marlin was mysteriously removed from a campus fountain and after the transition to university the school saw new marketing, much of which incorporated a lighthouse. It turned out that the mascot was not changing and the marlin was simply being removed for cleaning.

Most recently a rumor spread that the famous Monumental Chapel bell tower, a landmark on our campus, was going to be transformed into a lighthouse. It was confirmed by President Miller, that the bell tower is going to be renovated and restored as a result of foundational instability. However, there are no plans of converting the school’s iconic bell tower into a lighthouse. However, there will be a light installed as well as an updated look. Chaplain Greg West also said that he’s been told the bell tower will have still feature a cross.

I personally am a passionate person as it pertains to issues I care about. I was outraged by the news of our mascot change along with many others. However, what outraged me more was how off-base this information was. This is the same thing that happened with the bell tower rumor. I was prepared to actively protest change should it be transitioned into a lighthouse and felt silly to find out it was nothing but a rumor. The one thing that outraged me more than all these potential changes was finding out they were all nothing but rumors.

It is easy for false information to permeate the environment of a small campus, filling all unnecessary angst and frustration. Many people hear information and judge it as fact, not taking the time to confirm information with the proper authorities. I will admit I have contributed to this pattern of behavior. However, I have now adopted the attitude of not contributing to unrest based purely on speculation, but only based on fact. Yes, I believe it is important that students take an active role in disseminating important information regarding major changes at the school. However, we should focus on spreading factual information as opposed to speculations. Let us use the critical thinking skills that got us here to not take all information at face value. Again, I emphasis that this is article is partially addressed to myself as well.

As college students, we already have a lack of energy. Let’s not spread rumors that will cause others to use their scarce sources of energy getting upset over things that are not true. Instead of taking information and spreading it to others, let’s take the time we would normally spend spreading these rumors and find out the truth.

Ashley Kline
aakline@vwu.edu