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Every campus has its stories that are passed down through the
generations, the ones that
seem so absurd that students can’t help but repeat them. Some are funny,
interesting to ponder. Often, the storyteller has no idea of their
validity. Our ever-curious student intern, Todd Grennan ’05, decided to
do his own investigation. Whether true or false, no doubt you’ll likely
hear these again.
The Red Cup Rule
Students may carry alcohol in a non-translucent cup as they return to
their dorm rooms
after a party and not be cited by Campus Safety.
Dean of Students Ann Quinley explains that the so-called “Red Cup Rule”
is not an official rule, but an enforcement decision made to keep students from chugging
the remainder of their drinks before leaving a party—a practice that can lead to alcohol
Students aren’t stopped as long as their behavior is not loud or unruly.
However, if the
student appears to be drunk, Campus Safety will ask what’s in the cup
and cite him or her
Pomona’s Secret Tunnels
Pomona’s campus has a series of secret maintenance tunnels running under
it that connect
all parts of campus.
No such tunnels exist, says James Hansen, director of campus planning
and maintenance, but he goes on to suggest that the origin of the rumor
may stem from a series of large pipes (from back when the colleges were heated by steam from a central plant)
that brought steam
all over the five campuses. These pipes were never removed and so are
present under much of the campus, though Hansen doubts any of them are
big enough to crawl through.
President a Bowie Fan
President Oxtoby is a secret fan of singer David Bowie and painted
several watercolors of
“The Thin White Duke” for a book.
Though a quick online search confirms the existence of Bowie-centric
paintings done by an artist named David Oxtoby, a little more digging reveals these pieces to
be the work of a
different person altogether, one born in Yorkshire, England, in 1938.
President David Oxtoby is not a fan of the music of David Bowie, he is
aware of the artist
who shares his name and, in fact, once received a book of the artist’s
work as a gift.
The physicist for whom Millikan Laboratory for Physics, Mathematics and
named in 1958 was a supporter of eugenics.
Robert A. Millikan is best known for his 1923 Nobel Prize in physics for
research in which
he determined the charge of electrons, but he was also involved with
Betterment Foundation, a group that supported eugenics. To be fair, the
eugenics movement was not considered out of the mainstream in those days
and had many
other noteworthy proponents, including President Theodore Roosevelt and
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Collegiate Water Barons
Early on, the College gained legal control of local water rights—giving
it claim on all of
the city’s water resources.
While the College
does own two wells -- one relatively new and one much older -- according
to Hansen, these wells do not produce all of the water used by the city,
or even the colleges. Rather, the water produced by these on-campus
wells is sold to a local company in exchange for an improved rate on the
water Pomona does use, something that significantly reduces the cost of
water to the College.
Quinley’s Red Shoes
Dean of Students Ann Quinley always wears red shoes.
According to Dean Quinley, when she first came to Pomona she had a new
pair of red shoes that she liked and wore all the time. Later, when she tried to wear
shoes of another
color, “so many people asked me about it that I decided just to always
wear red.” She
asserts, however, that she is perfectly willing to don a non-red shoe if
she is wearing
“something that clashes horribly with red.”
Claremont Colleges Urban Legends
The Mudd/Lincoln Connection?
Harvey Mudd, the namesake of Harvey Mudd College, is related to Dr. Mudd,
the doctor who gave medical assistance to John Wilkes Booth soon after
his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
Harvey Mudd College was co-founded by millionaire industrialist
Henry Mudd and named after his father. Henry and Harvey Mudd are related
to Dr. Samuel A. Mudd (the doctor who treated Wilkes Booth) and to
television newscaster Roger Mudd.
No Men After 11 at Scripps College?
As part of its identity as an all-women¹s college, Scripps College does
not allow male students from other colleges on its campus after 11 p.m.
According to the Escort and Guest Policy put forth in Scripps College¹s
Guide to Student Life: ³Students may have guests at any time. From the
time guests enter the residence halls, they must be escorted by a
Scripps student who will take responsibility for her guests.² This
policy makes no reference to the gender of the guests and makes no
differentiation between Scripps and non-Scripps students.
The Haunted Dump at Pitzer College?
Pitzer College was built on a landfill that was built on an Indian
True or False?
According to Professor Steve Glass, Pitzer founding faculty member, the
site on which the college was constructed was indeed a former landfill.
However, there is no evidence that the site was also an Indian burial