EDITORIAL: Students fall for common dormitory hoax

Editorial Staff

It’s quite likely that by now you’ve heard rumors of or seen the notice that’s been circulating campus dorms. Photos of it certainly aren’t hard to find on Twitter. The notice, printed on official Buffalo State letterhead, asks male students to refrain from pleasuring themselves in the dorm showers, stating that such behavior clogs the pipes and costs the school thousands of dollars in maintenance. It instructs anyone with questions regarding the policy to contact their RA.

The notice, of course, was a hoax. In fact, it’s a common one. A quick Google search of “dorm masturbation notice” proves this. The Huffington Post reported earlier this year that similar signs have been posted in at least 25 other campuses, from Georgetown to Duke to New Zealand’s University of Auckland. But the reaction on social media indicated that students at Buff State believe the notice to be real. One high school graduate, perhaps in jest, shared a photo of the letter on Twitter and commented that it sealed his decision not to come to Buff State. Someone from UB tweeted a photo of the letter with the comment “this is why everyone at UB makes fun of buff state.” A Buff State graduate shared the photo on her Facebook, exclaiming, “these types of things DID NOT happen when I went there!!”

Isn’t there something about a letter from the school that instructs students to “Please, Masturbate in your bedrooms” that sets off a person’s bullshit detector?  Have we forgotten how to think critically? God help us if the people who fell for this bogus notice get real degrees. But they will. They’re the same people who see stories from huzlers.com about Tupac coming out of hiding and think, ‘Yep, seems reliable.’ Hint: Most credible news organizations can afford .com domains, so get a second source before sharing that “Facebook will begin charging users $2.99 a month” story from nationalreport.net.

If something seems too crazy to be true, it probably is.