I was a freshman CSB student in the fall of 2002, I vividly remember the night Josh went missing as it was the night of my 19th birthday and I was celebrating with friends at SJU. It might be helpful for the podcast to clarify that SJU is the men’s school, CSB is the women’s school but students take classes on both campuses and a bus system runs between the two campuses every half hour until 2 AM on the weekends. It’s about a 5-6 minute bus ride. During episode 3, there was some speculation that maybe friends at the party in Metten just mixed up the timelines.
CSB/SJU students during that era were (and probably still are) some of the most punctual, time-aware college kids in the country, especially on the weekends. The reason is simple: the last bus of the night to SJU from CSB was at 1:30 AM, right after the bars closed in town. If you were going to SJU, you had to catch the last bus or you would be stuck trying to find a ride. Likewise, the last bus to CSB left SJU at 1:45–if you were heading to CSB or the town of St. Joseph, you needed to catch it or risk being stuck at SJU for the night (which was technically against the rules, although not really enforced for upperclassmen). Buses left SJU ever half hour on the :15 and :45, they left CSB on the :00 and the :30. This information was a drilled into students from their first days as freshman. In my opinion, this makes it especially unlikely that numerous students at the same party would get Josh’s departure time confused.