Athens – Noting the only mildly annoyed student reaction to the Hungry Bobcat food truck, Ohio University’s temporary replacement for the full dining facility – Boyd – which normally feeds hundreds of students (who will now be fed by a truck), OU Residential Housing has decided this model could also be used to remedy the growing problem of limited housing space as OU goes forward with its massive residence hall renovations. “Eh, why not?” says Res-Housing Director Alexa Carrey.
Carrey reports that while the new buildings on South Green will create a lot of space for students, the next phase of renovations, which includes demolishing Cady, Foster, and Brough House on “Back South,” will more or less completely undo that progress. This left the department in search of fresh ideas for housing options.
“We surveyed all the West Green residents to gauge how they felt about their new food truck. The majority of the respondents said that they were only ‘moderately irritated,’ with just fifteen percent saying they are willing to protest/revolt.” Some students even replied that a few of the menu items taste like food.
“We took that as a go-ahead to pretty much do whatever we wanted.”
The details have already been laid out and scrutinized by top university officials, and they believe a group of trucks, which their plan describes as “a dozen or so 18-wheelers parked in that one red lot,” could be fully outfitted with rugs, mattresses, and “even a few lights” as early as fall semester 2015. Each truck will be referred to as a “Sleepy Bobkitty,” as it was said in the press release that the name can’t be “not patronizing.”
“This is a very exciting time for us,” says Carrey, who notably will not have to live in a truck next semester. “We have a great opportunity to really test our limits.”
She admits that the plan is not perfect, however. “The biggest issue we foresee is the fact that Parking Services is not on-board with the idea, so residents of the trucks will have to purchase parking passes for their rooms as well,” Carrey mentions.
“Also, drinking will have to be prohibited in the trucks, even for 21-year-olds, because of open container laws.”
Because of these inconveniences, each resident will be compensated with one free OU Res-Life hoodie to help with the transition into the somewhat colder living conditions, and each of their accounts will be credited with $20 in Bobcat Cash.
Carrey remains very optimistic for the initiative, stating that if students don’t complain about it, they may look into making the Sleepy Bobkitties a more permanent living option.
“If they’re okay with being fed out of a truck on a regular basis, who knows what we can get away with!”
Joe Kalavity wrote this article while standing behind the entire West Green population in line at Nelson Dining Hall. He is a strong advocate for indoor, non-truck housing, a cause that meets surprisingly little opposition. Follow him on Twitter @JosePhresh.