Freaky Friday: Washington State University

While researching the ghost stories of various campuses around the country, I have found that many stories are a result of a mysterious death. And Washington State University is no exception.  Here are some spooky tales from WSU.

Stevens Hall

Residents of Stevens Hall are said to hear spooky sounds, including unidentified screams and doors opening on their own. Given the building’s history of disappearances and unexplained deaths, it should not come as a surprise that many believe the building to be haunted.

The Black Cat

Back in the early 1900s, students had a tradition of reading Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” on Halloween. Rumors circulated around the tradition, saying that a black cat roamed the halls on the holiday, bringing misfortune with every step.

One year, the women of Stevens Hall found a black cat outside their house mother’s door. Thinking it was a prank being played by the men’s hall, they ignored the cat until later that night, when they went to find the house mother.  They found her dead.   Though doctors said natural causes were to blame, many still believe the the real cause of death was owed to the black cat.

WSU has many other ghostly tales, which can be found on their magazine’s website. Do you have a ghostly story from Washington State or another school? Share your story with us and yours could be featured here next week!

More Freaky Tales

Freaky Friday: USF Tampa
Freaky Friday: Pacific University
Freaky Friday: Franklin & Marshall
Freaky Friday: University of the South
Freaky Friday: Point Park

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What Is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is upon us– the unofficial start of summer.  Being from New Jersey, Memorial Day Weekend means three days of food, sun and sand (not gym, tan and laundry).

The Jersey Shore has become synonymous with Memorial Day.  And for those in other states, perhaps hiking or cookouts or picnics are what you typically look forward to over the holiday.

But, what’s most important, and many times most forgotten, is what we are actually celebrating and honoring.  It’s not only a time with good friends in beautiful weather.  It’s a time to think about why we’re free to spend this weekend in any way we please– to honor those who have lost and risked their lives for our rights and liberty.

So take a moment and brush up on how this holiday came about.  And remember those brave men and women who have protected your freedom.

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IS Foundation: Empower. Educate. Collaborate.

Ian Somerhalder is probably best known for his roles on hit television shows including ‘Lost’ (loved that show!) and currently ‘The Vampire Diaries’. What many people may not know is he not only has a passion for acting (and a pretty face), but he has a strong compassion for our planet, which led him to create the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF).

According to the organization’s website, the mission of the ISF is “to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.”

ISF believes our environment is one large being whose individual parts all depend on each other to function and thrive. Thus it focuses on three major aspects of the environment: habitat, energy and animals.

ISF aims to work in unison with other organizations that have similar missions in order to create widespread and lasting change in these areas. The foundation’s first major partnership with Conservation International has so far led to the protection of 300 acres of forest.

As a part of the college community, we are always looking for ways in which students can have a positive impact on the environment and the ISF is especially interested in generating youth involvement in their work, too. Volunteering, donating and sharing project ideas are just a few of the ways you can participate.

Visit for more information on how you can make a difference.

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The IT List: Summer Leggings

When I look back at 80’s fashion, I can’t help but laugh.  The teased hair, shoulder pads,  and cinched belts are enough to make anyone cringe.  I never thought 80’s style would hit the runway again, but take a look around you– 80’s inspired fashion is back.

One trend, which has really been embraced (and is even sold at select campus bookstores) is the legging.  And I can see why.  They’re a comfortable alternative to jeans and pants, they look great with heels or ballet flats and they certainly elongate the leg for us short folk.

This past fall and winter, leggings were paired up with comfy, long sweaters and boots for a put-together, laid-back look.  But how do we work them into summer style?

Here’s how…

These cropped Express leggings will cool down your look for about $30.


  • Show Some Leg: This summer, it’s all about leggings in different lengths.  From mid-calf to knee length, showing a little leg will definitely lighten your look.

Brighten your look with leggings in bright colors.

  • In Living Color: Instead of turning to black or brown leggings, brighten up the day with leggings in purple, navy, or white.  Leggings are a great way to add a colorful punch to your look.

Pair your cropped leggings with these Riddgge wedges by Steve Madden for a trendy look.

  • The High Life: Pair your leggings with a peep-toe heel or strappy platform for an instant leg up on your style competition.
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Freaky Friday: USF Tampa

When I think of Florida, I think of 3 things: sun, sand, and Disney World. In my mind, the only ghosts haunting the Sunshine State are the ones in the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom. But, the tale we uncovered from the University of South Florida Tampa proves there is more to Florida than you might think.

Read on, if you dare.

In the fall of 1976, an English major known only by the last name Gottlieb was found dead. As a student, Gottlieb worked as an assistant on the 4th floor of the library in the English literature section. Following her death, reports of strange noises and occurrences starting cropping up, including automatic doors opening when no one was near them and book trucks moving on their own.

Known as the “Phantom of the Fourth Floor”, students have reported seeing a young woman wearing a bright green backpack amongst the book shelves. When they turn the corner, however, the figure vanishes. It is said that Gottlieb wore a similar backpack during her time as a student, which has many convinced that her ghost still roams the library.

In an article on USF’s news page, one student says when in the Tampa library, “you always get the eerie feeling you’re being watched and get that paranoid sense of someone behind you walking through the library.”

I have goosebumps just thinking about it!

Have you had an encounter with the “Phantom of the Fourth Floor” or other ghosts at the University of South Florida? Tell us about your experience below.

More Freaky Tales

Freaky Friday: Pacific University
Freaky Friday: Franklin & Marshall
Freaky Friday: University of the South
Freaky Friday: Point Park

Full posts →

Dish It: Taco Dogs

Who doesn’t love hot dogs, right?  Well, this taco-take on hot dogs will not only make your mouth water, but your wallet will thank you, too.  This recipe is simple, cheap and delicious– perfect for any college student’s recipe box.

Taco Dogs

What You’ll Need:

Flour Tortillas, Beef or Turkey Dogs, Salsa, Your choice of cheese, Refried Beans

Optional: Taco Sauce, Mexican Rice, Sour Cream

What You’ll Need To Do:

1. Spread refried beans, salsa and cheese on a flour tortilla

2. Put the dog on the tortilla and wrap it up

3. Nuke it for 2 minutes or pop in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Delicious!  Once your taco dogs are done, feel free to slather on some taco sauce, sour cream and enjoy a side dish of Mexican rice.

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U4U: Facebook Wall of Fame

These days, Facebook is many students’ number one news source.  By “news”, we don’t necessarily mean world events, but also local, personal stories and happenings.  Not only do we first hear of friends’ engagements, break-ups and more, but we learn of embarrassing moments, if she got the job, and reviews on the new gadget he just purchased.

From my time perusing Facebook, I have definitely come across status updates that have made me laugh out loud, made me cry, made me cringe and more.  That’s why, we want to hear about the updates that have really caught your eye on our Wall of Fame.

We’re looking for the funniest status updates, the most “newsworthy”, the most creative, most embarrassing and most commented status update you’ve ever posted.  Submit a screenshot or re-type your story below for consideration.  We will then choose our favorite submissions to hang on our Wall of Fame in the next issue of U4U Magazine!

Post away!

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Advice For Graduates

College graduates are offered advice from a ton of people– parents, friends and so-called “experts” to name a few.  As a somewhat recent grad, I can honestly say that I don’t have all the answers – but I do believe I have offer insight into life after college.  And let me tell you– It’s fabulous.  Here is some advice I can now share as I’m living a post-graduate lifestyle. 

Moving in with mom & dad

For some, this thought may be incomprehensible after having spent some time on your own, but the reality these days is that living on your own is expensive, especially if you have loans or other college debt to pay off. If you’re moving back into your old room, you’re not alone–  85% of college grads plan to move back with mom and pop

So, if you find yourself in this situation, set a goal for when you will find your own place. Having a date in mind will help you be disciplined in saving money for all future apartment needs. In the mean time, embrace the time you have with your family and the free meals that go along with it– it won’t last forever.

Meeting new people

Whether you are moving to a new city or back to your hometown, chances are you will want to expand your social circle. As a young professional, it can be difficult to meet new people to spend time with. Thankfully, there are several resources available to help you branch out, including Browse the site for groups in your area that share your favorite hobbies, such as hiking or touring museums, then find out how you can join one of the events. There are tons of groups for professionals as well, which can be a great way to network with others in your industry.

Trying new things

College is typically a time to experiment and get out of your comfort zone, but it doesn’t have to end there. If you have always wanted to try something, or have read about some recent fad, now is as good a time as any to do it. I had always wanted to be a runner.  So, I recently ran my first half-marathon and though I was not very prepared for it, the sense of accomplishment when crossing the finish line was well-worth the next few days of stiff legs.  Having something new to look forward to once out on your own is key.

Be a savvy shopper

Now that you’re in the “real world” it’s important you keep a close and responsible eye on your finances.  Being frugal in order to afford business happy hours and new hobbies is important, but don’t let saving get in the way of having fun!  Sites like Groupon, which offers daily deals on fun things to do in your area, can help you find new activities or cool restaurants to try at a discount. I’ve scored tickets to professional basketball games and tourist attractions in NYC that I definitely wouldn’t have bought otherwise!

There is plenty more I could talk about, but like I said, I’m still trying to figure out a lot of the answers to life’s most pressing questions myself.  :)  For those of you who have graduated, what advice would you give to our readers? Leave your tips in the comments below.  We’d love to hear from you!

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The IT List: Rain, Rain, Splash Away

It’s another rainy day on the East Coast and while we’re dreaming of sandal weather, reality has us stepping out in our rain boots this week. Not only does the rain interfere with having a good hair day, but it can seriously mess up your style. Here are some solutions to help you find the right footwear for every rainy occasion.

Casual: Whether you are heading to class or out to lunch, nothing says casual like spirited rain boots. Pick up a pair at select campus bookstores for just $49 and never fret about wading your way around campus. We recommend pairing them with skinny jeans, the epitome of style these days. Plus they are super easy to tuck in your boots without twisting and bunching.

Office Chic: There will undoubtedly come a time where you need to dress up for an important interview or internship on a soggy day.   Steve Madden has the answer for your rain-soaked woes: the Tsunami, which costs about $80. Pictured here in black, this chic boot will give the essence of professional style when peeking out beneath dress pants or paired with a knee length skirt.

Playing Dress up: Rain is said to mean good luck when it comes to weddings, and we hope that goes for all dressy occasions. Sperry Top-Sider has options for moments when a full length boot just won’t work with your ensemble. Regularly priced at $50, this leopard print flat is sure to capture attention while keeping your feet dry. It is also available in Black/Grey and Purple/Plaid for those who prefer to make a quieter splash.

Men’s Style: There’s no reason for men to get cold feet, either! This LLBean pair cost about $109 and with a name like Bison, these boots are anything but girly.

The IT List:

The IT List: Hot Pink Is Queen

Put Your Best Foot Forward This Spring

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Alta Gracia: Apparel On a Mission

If you couldn’t tell by now, we adore school spirit clothing; t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts – you name it, we’ve probably blogged about it. So it should come as no surprise that we have found a new obsession in collegiate wear: Alta Gracia.

Owned by Knights Apparel, Alta Gracia is considered one-of-a-kind in the college apparel industry– most likely because of its kindness to others.

The products are manufactured in the Dominican Republic town of Villa Altagracia (hence the name) and according to the brand’s website, Alta Gracia employees earn more than three times what is considered standard for factory workers in the Dominican Republic. This “living wage” is to ensure employees are able to “provide adequate food, clean water, clothing, shelter, health care, child care, and education for themselves and their families,” the company states. 

The workers take pride in what they do and have high hopes for the future.  Yolanda Simon, a factory employee of Alta Gracia, says on the website, “With every purchase, you are supporting a better life for our community.”

To maintain the living wage for its workers, the company isn’t charging college students more for its products as compared to other brands (roughly $18 per t-shirt)– so they are not making much of a profit.  But, the company hopes once the college community understands their goals and mission, students will continue to choose Alta Gracia when making their purchases. 

With each t-shirt, sweatshirt or hoodie you buy, you are helping others get on a path out of poverty.  So, when shopping for the next big event on campus, look for the Alta Gracia brand and make a purchase you can feel good about.

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