A Southern rumor: investigated


Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

For many students, the first year of college is one of the most exhilarating, and one of the most frightening. It might be the first year you are living away from home, the daily routine will be different depending on your classes, but one thing which is guaranteed for all Freshman is that they will most likely hear many rumors about Southern.

The rumors at Southern can range from haunted dorms to teachers who are either saints or the meanest people alive, but one of the most prominent rumors is also one of the most unnerving: should a roommate die during the course of the year, the surviving roommate will be given a 4.0 GPA for the remainder of the year.

Off the bat this is a very gruesome rumor, but it was one of the first ones this reporter ever heard of from my own roommate. Though at first it seems like a joke which is quite poor taste to scare freshman who have roommates a year or two above them, it raises the question of what actually would happen in the case of such a tragedy.

The person on campus who had all the information regarding such a topic was the Assistant Vice President/ Dean of student affairs, Dr. Jules Tetreault. The first comment he made regarding the matter was that this rumor floating around Southern is not an isolated incident. “This existed at other institutions that I have been a part of as well” he said, and knowing that this rumor is not only at Southern makes it seem like nothing more than a ghost story.

When it comes down to it though, the question still stands of how the University would treat such an event, and especially the surviving roommate. Before even discussing whether or not the rumor had any truth to it, Dr. Tetreault continued promptly to say that, “The institution would be focused on helping support the roommate and other friends in whatever ways we can. It would also be important for the community to support individuals to navigate such grief that can come from the loss of a friend, roommate, student, son/daughter etc.”.

Above all else, the focus and attention of the university is to helping the student get through their trying time.

Eventually he got to the heart of the matter, and shot down the rumor by saying, “While the institution would make every effort to support the student, giving the student and automatic 4.0 is not the best way to help an individual navigate through such grief.”

A student will not receive an automatic 4.0 should their roommate pass away. In thought though it makes sense, as Dr. Tetreault phrased it, “In addition, the student would also not be exposed to the knowledge, skills, and experiences that the course might have provided.” Which, in all logic, makes sense; were the rumor hypothetically true, and a student was given a 4.0, even with the assured GPA they would still need to go to classes so that they wouldn’t be given an automatic F and need to retake the class.

Now the rumor has been disproven and students will now know what will actually happen, it comes in handy to know what sort of services would be provided in such a case. The school itself has a counseling service which any student may use regardless of situation and whose mission statement states they are there to, “provide psychological support as students pursue academic and personal goals and to enhance the quality of their educational experience.

There are also other academic resources such as the “academic support center, counseling services, working with faculty on the need for some time away, and even possible incompletes in courses depending on the timing” as told by Dr. Tetreault.

As officially stated, the rumor that should a roommate pass away the surviving roommate will receive a 4.0 is false, and by no means true.

Photo Credit: Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

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