Document Type

Article - On Campus Only

Publication Date



The study argues for a reconsideration of rumor from an interpretive perspective. The study articulates a theoretical perspective that combines organizational culture with Burke's guilt-purification-redemption cycle. The perspective is then used to study the rumor, “If your roommate dies, you get a 4.0.” The study concludes that students use the rumor to make sense of and to cope with problematic aspects of their university-life pertaining to roommates, academic pressures, and hierarchical relations between students and the university administration.

Recommended Citation

Scheibel, Dean. (1999). “If your roommate dies, you get a 4.0”: Reclaiming rumor with Burke and organizational culture. Western Journal of Communication, 63 (2), 168-192.