By the Handbook: 9 Unusual College Policies

iStock
iStock

When incoming freshmen head to college ready to have some fun before classes start, they often run up against a boring enemy: hours of tedious explanation of various school rules and policies. Yes, these orientation sessions may be a chore to sit through, but it could be so much worse. Your school could have one of these odd policies:

1. Every Day is Business Casual Day

Starting in 2007, Paul Quinn College in Dallas has required students to be dressed in business casual attire from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. if they want to attend classes or eat in the school's dining halls. While a dress code isn't all that strange, Paul Quinn's punishment for breaking it is unique. The first violation results in community service. The second violation earns a student a spot in the President's Running Club. College president Michael Sorrell shows up at students' rooms early on Saturday morning and forces violators to go jogging with him. Suddenly wearing a pair of khakis doesn't sound so bad.

2. No Beard Without a Doctor's Note

Brigham Young
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

If you're a male student at Brigham Young, you're going to need a doctor's note before you grow a beard. The school's honor code includes a section on grooming, but if a student has a skin condition that would make shaving painful or impossible, he can get a doctor's note and qualify for a "beard exception" that's good for one year. The oddest thing about this rule is that Brigham Young himself often sported a flowing white beard.

3. No Extra Studying (Also: No Booger-Wiping)

Don't like studying? Then Pensacola Christian College might be for you. According to the Student Voice, an unofficial site run by PCC students, "extra studying during exams" is strictly prohibited. Before you think Pensacola Christian is a slacker's delight, though, the site also lists the following prohibited items and actions: local calls over 30 minutes, singing too loudly at prayer group, singing in the shower during quiet hours, and, of course, this little gem: "You may not wipe "˜boogers' on the wall. This is being cracked down on."

4. No Wikipedia

Wikipedia
iStock

In 2007, the history department at Middlebury College banned students from citing Wikipedia as a source in papers or exams. Professors in the department grew tired of seeing incorrect information pop up on exams and assignments only to have students say that they got the "facts" from the collaboratively edited online encyclopedia.

While it's perfectly reasonable for an academic institution to expect its students to get their facts from verified sources "“ even enthusiastic Wikipedia junkies must admit there are errors on the site "“ the new policy became national news. The New York Times ran a story on the policy, and some students grumbled that the new rule was tantamount to censorship. Some professors, though, embraced the controversy in an interesting way by turning "Write an accurate Wikipedia entry" into a class assignment.

5. No Occult Practices

There will be no ritualistic killing of goats at Kentucky's Asbury University. The Christian liberal arts college has fairly strict policies about the usual suspects for religious schools: drinking, swearing, gossip, etc. However, its student handbook also explicitly forbids "occult practices." At least students won't be able to get ideas for occult practices from watching horror movies; campus policy bans R-rated movies as well.

6. No Jazz

Something's telling us the band at Bob Jones University isn't packed with improvisational jazz talent. The religious South Carolina school bans jazz, rap, rock, and country music "as well as religious music that borrows from these styles." If you thought Asbury's policy on R-rated movies was tough, check out this passage for Bob Jones' residence hall policies: "Residence hall students may not watch videos above a G rating when visiting homes in town and may not attend movie theaters."

Don't think you can't have any fun at Bob Jones University, though. You can still bring your handgun! The school promotes responsible firearm ownership, though. From the same residence hall policy page: "All weapons brought to campus must be turned in for storage. Trigger locks are required for pistols."

7. No Democrats

In 2009, students at conservative Christian Liberty University formed a chapter of the College Democrats and even briefly earned recognition as a legitimate campus group. When higher administrators caught wind of the organization, though, they quickly moved to ban the College Democrats from campus because the party "supports abortion, socialism and the agenda of gay, bisexual and transgender people."

8. No Beer Pong

beer pong
iStock

You're allowed to drink at Pitzer College, but you'd better not turn that boozing into a competitive event. The school's paper, The Claremont Port Side, reported last weekend that the administration has banned drinking games for the upcoming academic year. According to the story, the student handbook contains a passage that reads, "Games that are centered on alcohol, focus on drinking large quantities of alcohol or promote irresponsible drinking are prohibited. Any devices or paraphernalia which aid in these games may be confiscated and will not be returned. These devices include, but are not limited to beer pong or "'Beirut' tables and beer bongs or funnels."

Sounds like a reasonable policy that would be tricky to enforce. At what point does ownership of Solo cups or a Ping-Pong table start to exhibit the intent to play Beirut?

9. No Dogs

Since 1922 Lafayette has banned dogs from its classes. On April 7, 1922, The New York Times contained a brief item that reported that Lafayette students were no longer allowed to bring their pooches to class or chapel exercises. The final sentence of the story simply read, "Dogs have always been permitted in classes, but of late their presence has caused much annoyance."

The 10 Best Memorial Day 2020 Sales

iRobot,GoWise,Funko via Wayfair, Entertainment Earth
iRobot,GoWise,Funko via Wayfair, Entertainment Earth

The Memorial Day sales have started early this year, and it's easy to find yourself drowning in offers for cheap mattresses, appliances, shoes, and grills. To help you cut through the noise and focus on the best deals around, we threw together some of our favorite Memorial Day sales going on right now. Take a look below.

1. Leesa

A Leesa Hybrid mattress.
A Leesa Hybrid mattress.
Leesa

Through May 31, you can save up to $400 on every mattress model Leesa has to offer, from the value-minded Studio by Leesa design to the premium Leesa Legend, which touts a combination of memory foam and micro-coil springs to keep you comfortable in any position you sleep in.

Find it: Leesa

2. Sur La Table

This one is labeled as simply a “summer sale,” but the deals are good only through Memorial Day, so you should get to it quickly. This sale takes up to 20 percent off outdoor grilling and dining essentials, like cast-iron shrimp pans ($32), a stainless steel burger-grilling basket ($16), and, of course, your choice of barbeque sauce to go along with it.

Find it: Sur la Table

3. Wayfair

KitchenAid Stand Mixer on Sale on Wayfair.
Wayfair/KitchenAid

Wayfair is cutting prices on all manner of appliances until May 28. Though you can pretty much find any home appliance imaginable at a low price, the sale is highlighted by $130 off a KitchenAid stand mixer and 62 percent off this eight-in-one GoWise air fryer.

And that’s only part of the brand’s multiple Memorial Day sales, which you can browse here. They’re also taking up to 40 percent off Samsung refrigerators and washing machines, up to 65 percent off living room furniture, and up to 60 percent off mattresses.

Find it: Wayfair

4. Blue Apron

If you sign up for a Blue Apron subscription before May 26, you’ll save $20 on each of your first three box deliveries, totaling $60 in savings. 

Find it: Blue Apron

5. The PBS Store

Score 20 percent off sitewide at Shop.PBS.org when you use the promo code TAKE20. This slashes prices on everything from documentaries like Ken Burns’s The Roosevelt: An Intimate History ($48) and The Civil War ($64) to a Pride & Prejudice tote bag ($27) and this precious heat-changing King Henry VIII mug ($11) that reveals the fates of his many wives when you pour your morning coffee.

Find it: The PBS Store

6. Amazon

eufy robot vacuum.
Amazon/eufy

While Amazon doesn’t have an official Memorial Day sale, the ecommerce giant still has plenty of ever-changing deals to pick from. Right now, you can take $100 off this outdoor grill from Weber, $70 off a eufy robot vacuum, and 22 percent off the ASUS gaming laptop. For more deals, just go to Amazon and have a look around.

7. Backcountry

You can save up to 50 percent on tents, hiking packs, outdoor wear, and more from brands like Patagonia, Marmot, and others during Backcountry's Memorial Day sale.

Find it: Backcountry

8. Entertainment Earth

Funko Pops on Sale on Entertainment Earth.
Entertainment Earth/Funko

From now until June 2, Entertainment Earth is having a buy one, get one half off sale on select Funko Pops. This includes stalwarts like the Star Wars and Batman lines, and more recent additions like the Schitt's Creek Funkos and the pre-orders for the upcoming X-Men movie line.

Find it: Entertainment Earth

9. Moosejaw

With the promo code SUNSCREEN, you can take 20 percent off one full-price item at Moosejaw, along with finding up to 30 percent off select items during the outdoor brand's summer sale. These deals include casual clothing, outdoor wear, trail sneakers, and more. 

Find it: Moosejaw

10. Osprey

Through May 25, you can save 25 percent on select summer items, and 40 percent off products from last season. This can include anything from hiking packs and luggage to outdoorsy socks and hats. So if you're planning on getting acquainted with the great outdoors this summer, now you can do it on the cheap.

Find it: Osprey

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

Take a Virtual Ride on Hundeprutterutchebane, Denmark’s Infamous ‘Dog Fart’ Rollercoaster

Denmark’s Infamous "Dog Fart" Rollercoaster.
Denmark’s Infamous "Dog Fart" Rollercoaster.
Martin Lewison, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

The internet can transport you to the most famous theme park rides on Earth, like Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain in Disney World. It can also introduce you to obscure attractions you may have trouble believing exist in real life. If you're interested in the stranger side of theme parks, it doesn't get much weirder than Hundeprutterutchebane in Denmark, a.k.a. the dog fart rollercoaster.

Hundeprutterutchebane is one of the more memorable attractions at the Danish amusement park BonBon-Land. While it's not the most intense rollercoaster, it may leave riders feeling nauseated by the end. After boarding cars shaped like a character called Henry the Farting Dog, they zoom past another sculpture of Henry lifting his leg over a pile of poop. The coaster also passes through a tunnel filled with sounds of canine flatulence. You can experience the unique ride in the video below from Theme Park Crazy.

Hundeprutterutchebane isn't the only attraction at BonBon-Land that appeals to an immature sense of humor. There's also a "skid mark" coaster and a "horse dropping" ride, as well as pictures of urinating, defecating, and vomiting cartoon animals throughout the park. Even though it's themed around gross-out humor, BonBon-Land was actually started by a candy company. BonBon specialized in selling candies with cheeky names like "pee diapers," "seagull droppings," and "dog fart."

If you can stomach the video above, check out these bizarre amusement parks from around the world.