Villanova Mythbusters

Lauren McCarthy

Every day at Villanova dozens of rumors fly through the student body. Some of these rumors are outlandish and unsubstantiated while others are somewhat factual but unverified. This article seeks to explore some of these popular rumors and bust or verify the myth. These myths range from “Does the cafeteria put laxatives in the food?” to “Is Taylor Swift coming to Villanova?” These myths have existed for years and as these are debunked, undoubtedly other bizarre rumors will develop and take their place.

Myth# 1. Three girls are not allowed to be on a lease together or by law, it is considered a brothel is a myth that exists not just at Villanova, but at Penn State and the University of Tennessee where articles have been written in the past few years about them.

Busted! Pennsylvania has no law that mentions brothels, however there are several local zoning ordinances that limit the amount of people who can live together that affect students at Villanova. According to the Villanova student guide for living off campus, no more than three unrelated students may live together in Lower Merion or Haverford and the property must be approved as a student home. Only two students can rent a unit and live together in Radnor, however, apartments are exempt from this rule. Also, it makes no difference whether you are male or female, the laws are always the same for both sexes. The sorority and fraternity houses are exempt from these rules because they are affiliated with the university.

Myth# 2. The second Villanova myth is that Reel Divine is going out of business. The video and convenience store in Connelly Center is popular with students but with the rise of internet downloading may have become less necessary in order for students to see movies no longer in theaters. The present economy may also lead more students toward illegal downloading and away from DVDs.

Busted! “There is no truth to this myth,” the head of Villanova Dining Services, Timothy Dietzler says. He also points out that Reel Divine is run by the Villanova Dining Services and students can use their meal points there, which some students may not be aware of. They have over 2,000 movies available for rent.

Myth #3. The next myth is about the food on Villanova’s campus. A rumor has developed that laxatives are put in the food throughout campus for an unknown reason. If any one believes this disturbing myth it might scare them away from certain eating spots on campus. If someone had one bad experience with the food, they may attribute it to laxatives and be unwilling to go back there.

Busted! Dietzler also exposed this myth.

“This same myth exists at many college campuses around the country,” he says, and he first heard the myth from peers at a conference. He thinks it started as a joke a long time ago and resurfaces at different times. “Our students are too intelligent to believe such nonsense,” he says. If anyone did believe there were laxatives in their food before, they should not now.

Myth #4. Another popular Villanova rumor revolves around the Memorial Pathway, which connects Main Campus to South Campus. According to the myth, sometime in Villanova’s history, the rape trail and the grassy area surrounding the trail were going to hold a “Frat Row.” The rumor states that several fraternity houses were supposed to line the pathway and serve as a location for Greek life to be on Villanova’s campus.

Busted! Not only did the entire Residence Life department laugh heartily at this rumor, but also, Tom Mogan, the director of Student Development officially busted this myth. Mogan responded to the question with a chuckle. “This myth is only wishful thinking,” Mogan says. “The pathway was never intended to become Frat Row.”

Myth #5. This next Villanova myth has gained popularity in the past month as college application season is underway. It claims that the popular country music star, Taylor Swift, who grew up about an hour away from Villanova, in Reading, Pa., has applied to Villanova. Rumors claim that Swift, who will be turning 20 in December, is college bound and looking at Villanova University.

Rumor remains a myth… Unfortunately due to confidentiality in the admissions process this myth remains a rumor that cannot be substantiated.

Myth #6. This sixth myth relates to NovaFest, the annual weekend celebration that occurs in the Spring. The myth is that this year NovaFest is being cancelled or undergoing serious changes. According to this myth, some NovaFest traditions such as “Westfest” and the concert will be cancelled or modified.

Waiting on Friday’s Meeting Results… Tom Mogan stated that on Friday, September 18, 2009 the Office of Student Development held a meeting with student leaders regarding Novafest. (He is willing to answer questions regarding the meeting/Novafest) during the upcoming week.)