The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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The power of rumors on a small campus

Leave it to the power of rumors on a small campus.

Boy meets girl, boy and girl like each other, boy hears girl is a “slut” and never calls her again. But the truth is, she wasn’t any sort of the numerous female derogatory terms. Wow, isn’t this an awkwardly familiar college social scene?

I have officially been back in the state of Texas 10 days, and already I am thankful I do not live on campus. I’m now able to avoid the rumors that swirl from frat house to frat house and sorority girl to sorority girl faster than a tornado (and just as deadly).

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.” A truer statement has never been said.

Thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating conversations should not just take place for 50 minutes in your 11 a.m. political theory class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. People should wax philosophic wherever they go, especially at what is supposedly such a prestigious and academic school as SMU. But no, instead I hear about Suzy who slept with both Tim and Mark, and about the kind of freshmen girls “insert Greek letters here” fraternity will even look at. And all I want to know is how does it better my life, my existence or my purpose as an SMU student, to have conversations revolving around little more than issues in someone else’s personal life. What’s even worse is that I do not even know who Suzy, Mark, or Tim are, nor do I care. But the worst part is how students live and thrive for this gossip, as if these wild rumors are actually true.

I always enjoy, (cough, cough “sarcasm,”) when friends talk about people they don’t even know, about details in someone else’s life they couldn’t possibly know and take it all as if it were cold, hard facts. I’ve seen “juicy” gossip ripped apart and analyzed word for word as if it were more important than stem cell research. Then everyone gets so upset when they hear rumors about themselves.

Call me crazy, but I grew up learning do unto others as you would have done unto yourself. If you hate when people spread wild and crazy rumors about you, stop talking about other people. If we all did this for about five minutes, we might realize that there is a world full of greater issues and catastrophes to discuss than what Cosmo says is in right now, and “Oh my God! Did you see what she was wearing on Friday night? She is such a ho.”

I have personally seen rumors of grandiose muck hurt friends of mine to a catastrophic degree, but only at SMU. Where I am from, the only college in the town has 35,000 undergraduates, and gossip is little more then a fleeting fancy because there are just too many people to care. I take personal offense to rumors that cause my best friends to break down crying, wondering why anyone would say that about them. And my sometimes comforting, sometimes not, statement of “It’s not true, no one will believe it,” is something even I cannot believe because of the overwhelming abundance of people believing everything they hear and forming rash judgments based on those rumors.

So all I can do is wonder who took the time and effort to make and spread this muck as if it were headline CNN news, or worse, who cared enough to believe them?

Stepping off my high horse for a moment, I should say no one, not even myself, is exempt from the occasional dip into the indulgence of the rumor mill. It is a deadly machine, never ending, never sleeping, never resting.

But maybe, just maybe, if we took a moment to discuss our ideas or even just what is in the news, no one would care about Suzy, Mark or Tim because, guess what, it is their lives and their business, not ours.

And that rumor probably wasn’t even true to begin with. And if it was, and you slept with Suzy too, the health clinic is on the Boulevard.

About the Writer:

Rachel Carey is a sophomore Political Science major. She can be reached at [email protected].

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