Reflections On Stadium Dorm Life

It seems like just yesterday when I arrived at Ohio State University to begin my college career. I had been awarded the Stadium Dormitory Scholarship during my senior year at Mt. Healthy high school. I was assigned to Unit Q that was located on the second floor just north of the future location of the press box elevator.

The 12 residents of Unit Q were me; Richard Levin, my roommate; Jim Kvach; Gerry Lanham, my best friend in high school; Mike Northrup; David Ross; Tom Thomas, unit leader; Ted Angus; Gary Rich; Mike Segal; Gary Greene and Phil Guilliams.

The entire dormitory was invited to a ‘Smoker’ in the cafeteria on the first night. Rum Crooks were passed out to anyone brave enough to smoke one. Joe Witteman, dorm director, introduced the resident advisors and the dorm office holders. Future events were reviewed. A tour of the dormitory was conducted. Over the next few days each resident was assigned to a work detail. I opted to work in the kitchen and was lucky enough to be assigned to ‘salad prep’. I still remember how to make enough cole slaw to feed over 300 dorm residents.

My additional work detail hours were spent working with Chuck Shelley and the FPC (Facilities Planning Commission). The FPC was responsible for remodeling work around the dormitory. Two immediate tasks were finishing the TV lounge located next to the office and putting down a tile floor in the office before the first home football game. The FPC stayed up all night on a Friday to get the job done.

Unit Q was located just below Unit’s M & N that was the home for the infamous ‘Chicken Little Society’. The members were easily identifiable when wearing their distinctive green sweat shirts with the ‘Colorform’ yellow chicken emblem. They were the practical jokers of the dormitory that often got unfairly blamed when things went wrong.

A prank involving Joe Witteman’s VW beetle almost backfired. It was discovered that the space between the outside wall of Ohio Stadium and the concrete stairs leading to ‘A’ deck was a perfect fit for a VW. Several dorm residents lifted the VW and moved it so that it was wedged sideways in the space. The car was filled with crushed newspapers and hidden behind the large trash barrels used during football games. The VW was missing for several days, when it was discovered a cigarette was found on the floor of the car. Luckily no damage was done but all parties involved had to clean out the old kitchen storage area located on the ground floor of the stadium.

One of the most enjoyable events during the yea was the annual Christmas decorating contest. Each unit decorated their area based on a theme. Unit Q used ‘The Peanuts Gang’ for its theme. Mike Northrup was a gifted sketcher who created two large murals depicting Charlie Brown and his friends. Each room in the unit was also adorned with a ‘Peanuts’ character with a distinctive quote. Our unit was awarded a first place ribbon for its work.

Tom Blackstone, a Stadium Dorm resident and captain of the cheerleading squad, ran for homecoming king. Dorm residents were recruited to help in his campaign. We traveled to various dormitories and sororities and put on a show to help generate votes. Unfortunately, he did not win. Some other memorable events that occurred during the year were a mixer with the nurses at Riverside hospital, a toga party that almost put the Stadium on social probation, the annual Christmas and Valentines dance, the May Week festivities in the St. John’s field house and the party to end all parties – the annual ‘Playboy Party’ that I believe is now known as the ‘Escapade’ held in the Ohio Stadium press box.

I still look back at the four years in the Stadium Dormitory as some of the best years of my life!