There’s a chance that during your time at NJIT, you’ve heard of a curse—one destined upon those who walk under the clock tower just outside the Campus Center.
“…Whoever walks under the clocktower is doomed…”
Though joyous and musical in the eyes of many students here, some upperclassmen will enlighten you on the superstition surrounding it. While students hear many theories regarding the repercussions of walking beneath the tower, all myths share a common theme: it is the worst of luck for a student.
Recently, I took to campus to find out what fellow students had to say about this curse, and whether they knew about it. To my surprise, most had varying ideas on the specifics of the superstition.
Hassan Elsaid, a freshman biology major, stated, “What I’ve heard from the notorious myth of the clock tower is that whoever walks under the clock tower is doomed to fail their classes and tank their GPAs.” Furthermore, Noah Vazquez, a freshman mechanical and industrial engineering student, perpetuated this idea, stating, “I have a friend who walked under it last semester, and he didn’t pass Calc 1… He didn’t just walk under it, he did lapsunder it.”
There is, however, a less GPA-oriented version of the myth that I’ve also encountered. Katherine Ji, a first-year biology student, sold me a different blend of this superstition, with a bit of a loophole. “I’ve heard that walking under the bell tower entails that you will not graduate in four years. Because I’m planning on graduating in three years, I make a point of it to walk under it.”
Yet another version of the curse comes from Connor Fleming, Station Manager of WJTB Radio. His edition, however, I feel should be taken with a grain of salt. “The story as I know it,” he said, “is that the third residence of Joel Bloom is at the top in the clock tower. There’s a tiny cubby hole that he crawls into like a littleelf, and he gets very angry when people walk under it, so he changes all of your grades to F’s.” Although it is quite the image, and would be incredible if true, I would suggest disregarding this tale as an outlier.
There are those on campus, however, that look towards the curse with disbelief. Migle Surblyte, a junior computer science major and self-proclaimed ‘eternal skeptic’, had never heard of the myth, and approached it with understandable caution, stating “I’ve walked under [the tower] many times, and my GPA is doing fine.”
Through my time engaging with the students of NJIT discussing the curse of the clock tower, everyone seemed to approach the subject with a similar air of delight. With smiles on their faces, every person told their version or opinion on the myth, spreading their spin on the delightful rumor with complete and utter joy. The rumor itself is most likely complete nonsense: a rumor started by a student years ago that has been passed on from generation to generation of incoming students.
This shared delight, this giddy rumor telling, is a great glimpse into the culture of NJIT, and the happiness we derive from the telltale stories of the campus. There’s a simple relish in the spreading of bogus rumors, something to smile and laugh about, and of course something to blame bad grades and luck on. It is a connection between us all, a common story to help make college a bit more interesting.
The next time you find yourself roaming the campus walkways at 6 p.m., hearing the chimes of the clock tower, you might think of bad grades and GPAs, Joel Bloom in his cubby hole, or those who shared these stories with you.
Should you walk past it, or perhaps even through it, think of those who told you the curse of the clock tower, and do your part to tell friends and college newcomers. Spread the rumor, spread a few smiles, and keep the story alive.
Photo by Owen Busler | The Vector