Sac State myths debunked

Maikalina Madali

Many urban myths and legends have circulated throughout Sacramento State over the years.

Most Sac State students become aware of this as they walk through the campus during one of the New Student Orientation tours. The stories told by the tour leaders leave the students scratching their heads wondering whether they are true.

A few New Student Orientation leaders tell tour groups the top of the 60,000 square foot, 16-year-old Placer Hall is a top secret, governmentally secure FBI branch.

Supposedly, students do not have access to the top floor so the FBI can deal with their missions without disturbance.

However, this is not the case. Placer Hall is designated for the Geological Department and the Water Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey.

“The top floor is the state office of the U.S. Geological Survey Center,” said Geology Department Chair David Evans. “U.S.G.S. is the largest research organization in the federal government. They work on water issues in California.”

A story told during one of the New Student Orientation tours claims half of the trees on campus are fake.

In order to distinguish between the fake and real ones, a passerby must look at the tags drilled into the trunks. The odd numbered trees are presumably fake and the even numbered ones are real.

According to the Sac State facts overview on the website, every single one of the more than 3,000 trees planted on campus are in fact true oxygen-producing, carbon dioxide-reducing trees.

At the end of new student tours, the leaders explain the campus is filled with hundreds of different tree species.

The Biological Sciences Department has conducted the a bioinventory since 1991 and has it posted on the website, which lists the campus’ trees.Rumors suggest the University Library was built backwards.

“I’d heard that over the years,” said Sac State spokeswoman Kim Nava. “It doesn’t seem possible, so I never put much stock in it before.”

However, as Nava expected, it is essentially just a myth.

“The Library was built on two different dates,” said Sac State’s Manager of Customer Service in Facilities Services Mark Leisz. “I don’t know why it would be thought of as built backwards though.”

The separate building dates pose as one explanation of how this myth came about.

“At first, what they call Library 2 was essentially the edge of the campus,” Leisz said.

When the library was originally built in 1975, the only section in existence was the northern part of the building.The southern section of the library, starting at the breezeway, was not built until 1992.

Every winter, the Library Quad fountain is used for more than just a structural feature on campus.

The faculty, staff and New Student Orientation members replace the water flowing through the fountain with hot chocolate for a hot chocolate tub party.

This supposed unique tradition is in fact false. The library fountain remains unaffected through means of any other substance besides water.

After telling this tale to Sac State newcomers, New Student Orientation leaders make sure to clarify that it is just a wishful thought.

“I typically just say that it is sadly untrue and that it would probably be just a little unsanitary,” said former New Students Orientation leader Vance Jarrard, a senior government major.

In passing through the ground floor of the Academic Resource Information Center, the scent of chlorine can be detected.

This has caused students and faculty to question whether there is a secret indoor swimming pool underneath the building.

Unfortunately, there is no hidden pool the AIRC staff can sneak away to for a mid-day swim.

A few custodians suggest the smell can be from the cleaning supplies used throughout the building.

“The cleaner that we use has a very strong smell,” said one of the AIRC custodians Joey Valila. “There are people who have told me that it is too much.”

The chemicals in the cleaner create a scent similar to that of chlorine.

Maikalina Madali can be reached at [email protected].