This week I thought we would check in with "The Rumor Mill @ Southeast," the online university resource which helped spark "Fact or Fiction?" Ann Hayes, news bureau director at Southeast Missouri State University, has been fielding questions at The Rumor Mill for more than six years.
"It's amazing how widely it's caught on," said Hayes. "It's very popular among students to just get the correct information about a particular problem. So I think it's serving a good purpose. It's also a lot of fun. Sometimes the questions are odd, but for the most part, it fills a need, especially for students who sometimes don't know where to go to get answers.
"One of my favorites was where someone asked if it were true that the cafeteria was putting laxatives in the food. That came in a couple years ago. And, no, it wasn't true."
Here are some recent questions and answers from the site.
QUESTION: I heard that work is to begin next spring on the next phase of Houck Stadium renovation. Is this true?
RESPONSE: Don Kaverman, director of athletics at Southeast, says he knows of no additional work on Houck Stadium scheduled to begin in spring 2006.
QUESTION: I heard that the construction by New Hall is going to include an arch or entrance way into the university. Is this true? I also heard that it costs over $1 million for this project.
RATING: False - RESPONSE: There is not going to be an arch across Henderson Street at the entrance to the university and the project cost is not over $1 million.
The university is using its funds to install gateway entrance signage on the east and west sides of Henderson at Broadway. The entrance will feature two rough-cut limestone monuments, and the concave face of each structure will feature a water curtain with the name "Southeast Missouri State University" in pin-mounted lettering above. The monuments will be mirror images of each other.
The project is set to be completed later this fall. The university has budgeted approximately $200,000 to pay for the new signage and water feature.
QUESTION: I heard a rumor that if a student's roomate dies during the academic semester, he or she will receive an automatic 4.0 for the semester for grievance purposes.
RATING: False -- RESPONSE: According to registrar Sandy Hinkle, there is no truth whatsoever to this rumor.
QUESTION: I heard that in the dome of Academic Hall there are all these chalk signings and the president signs his name every year. I also heard that regular students can't go up there. I was wondering if one day I could go and sign my name.
RATING: More false than true -- RESPONSE: It is true that there are chalk, ink, pencil, etc. notations of students' names throughout the dome area of Academic Hall. Countless faculty, staff, students and visitors have visited the dome area and have "left their mark." It is not true that the president signs his/her name in the dome every year, although several have signed their name once. Academic Hall will be 100 years old in 2006, and the campus community will be celebrating the building's centennial with several activities throughout the year. Among the activities planned for the centennial celebration will be the opportunity to participate in a guided tour of the dome area. There also will be an exhibit of photographs taken of the signatures in the dome area.
Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian. If you have a question, e-mail email@example.com or call Speak Out (334-5111).