Officials debunk campus myths

Each university has its traditions, and it seems one of ours at the University of North Alabama is perpetuating myths. We at The Flor-Ala decided to investigate the most commonly heard myths on campus.

Myth 1: Harry Potter?

Some people claim parts of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” were filmed at the Math Building.

Senior Ashley Scruggs said she overheard a student in her class telling his friends this myth.

“To believe that, you could have never seen any of the Harry Potter movies,” she said. “Why would it randomly be filmed by the Math Building?”

As cool as it would be if this were true, the International Movie Database shows all filming locations for this installment to be in the United Kingdom.

Myth 2: 10-minute leave

You may have heard students can leave class after the first 10 minutes if the professor is not there.

Freshman Trayon Tate said some of his friends told him this rule.

“I didn’t believe it when I first heard it,” he said. “I did see people do this in my first semester, though.”

Although waiting for a professor who is not coming is not practical, this is more of a custom than a rule, said Thomas Calhoun, vice president for enrollment management.

“The handbook would be a good place to look at the current attendance policy,” he said.

Myth 3: Mockingjay symbol

Rumors say Suzanne Collins created the “The Hunger Games” symbol with inspiration from the Joe Keenum Sundial near the library.

Sophomore Pate Sheffield said she heard this myth from a SOAR counselor, but she was not fooled.

“That statue (has) been there for forever,” she said. “I didn’t really think that Suzanne Collins came down here and said, ‘I’m going to write a book about this.’”

According to a 2012 news release by Pratt Institute in New York City, their faculty member Tim O’Brian illustrated all book covers for the series.

The statue was placed in recognition of the contributions to the university by the Joe Keenum Excavation and Construction Company during renovations years ago.

Myth 4: Free tuition

Another popular myth states students can receive free tuition if they catch a squirrel.

This myth also came from SOAR, said sophomore Sierra Elston. When she first heard it, Elston said she believed it.

“I heard it mentioned so frequently by other students that I didn’t realize it was a joke,” she said. “I believed it for probably a whole semester.”

This is 100 percent false, Calhoun said.

“It’s nice if you catch a squirrel, I guess, if you’re interested in catching squirrels,” he said. “But if you want to attend college at the University of North Alabama, you have to pay tuition.”

Myth 5: Haunted campus?

For years, students have claimed parts of campus are haunted.

Freshman Clay Hall said he has a hunch as to why myths like this are created.

“Upperclassmen probably say campus is haunted just to scare the freshmen,” he said. “It’s probably fun for them.”

Since the concept of “haunted” requires a belief in otherworldly concepts, this one is a bit more complicated, Calhoun said.

“If you believe in places that are haunted in general, there’s every likelihood that there might be such a place on campus,” he said. “However, the campus itself did not create any haunted circumstances.”