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In search of the Almighty Dollar

The state budget is dwindling, and USF is being forced to be more creative than ever in its fundraising. So I decided to pitch in by creating a list of some money-making opportunities that might be of interest to the folks down at the end of Leroy Collins Boulevard.

Marshall Center Bar

Everyone knows that college kids love to drink beer, right? So why not take advantage of that fact and set up a bar in the Marshall Center food court?

Though big name companies like Pizza Hut and Taco Bell may have crashed and burned at the food court, a fully- loaded bar would be raking in cash faster than they could count it. To really see profits soar, USF could even serve drinks to minors, thus taking control of a key demographic. Another benefit of this proposal is that, once the student body is good and loaded, USF can hit them up for even more cash. In the end, everyone will win as the administration picks up some big bucks, and students get what they really want – booze.

Administration Building Casino

Not only will this idea be a big money-maker for the university, but it will also give students the chance to get to know their administrators in an entertaining setting. Just imagine playing craps on some administrator’s desk or walking into that big, center office and working the slots. And the administrators are no strangers to the gambling scene, as evidenced by the risky behavior of our seemingly fearless president. Lawsuits and public scrutiny be darned, this crop of USF top dogs really cares about keeping students entertained (just look at all those wonderful classes in the movie theater). With that in mind, it’s time to let the good times roll and get in there to meet the administrators in a way that will not only benefit us but will help with the budget crisis, as well.

Petting Zoo on the Business Administration Building lawn

It might be a little rough to find the more traditional goats and pigs to keep in the zoo, but there certainly wouldn’t be a shortage of squirrels and cats.

Concerned groups at USF have been trying for years to find a way to help out our underfed campus critters, and this may just be the solution everyone’s been looking for. By putting the cats and squirrels in a petting zoo, students would not only be able to play with the cuddly animals between classes, but they could also look out for their well-being. Then, administrators could sell nuts and kitty food for students to dispense, just like at a real petting zoo. As an offshoot, officials may even want to consider pulling some of the gators from the USF Golf Course to have our own mini-Gatorland.

The USF Downtown Center Dance Club

For those who are familiar with the location of USF’s Downtown Center, the idea to convert the building into a hot new dance club is a no-brainer. Situated directly between the upstart Channelside entertainment complex and Ybor City, the Downtown Center is just begging to be taken over by grease ball, pill-popping ravers looking for a place to juice up between bar-hops. Add to this the Center’s already cool, blue night lighting and the huge, indoor globe, and you’ve got all the right ingredients for a big-time, booty-shakin’ hub.

Cattle Ranch on Fowler Field

This has the potential to make some big bucks in an often forgotten group of students. While businesses endlessly appeal to the wallets of the USF hip, no one seems to care about the farm town cow poke. Granted, USF may not boast the hillbilly buying power of, say, the University of Florida, but the campus still has its fair share of hicks. Raising cattle would not only give great on-the-job experience to aspiring ranchers, but the beef profits would be substantial (and just imagine being able to eat some real meat at Crossroads). Naysayers may whine that Fowler Field is the Herd of Thunder’s territory, but that shouldn’t hold back the proposal. The cattle ranch would add a new dimension to our already endearing Herd and will help the band in the long run by teaching them how to perform well under pressure. Plus, it has the potential to inspire one heck of a halftime show.

Golf cart rides between classes

For a minimal fee, USF employees with a key could cart around time-crunched students. Even at a quarter per ride, this could bring in some dough for the university because there is no shortage of students who are too lazy to do their own walking. Anyone who has ever traveled in a cart across campus knows there are plenty of students already asking for rides. It’s a simple matter of providing a supply for the demand.

Al-Arian merchandise

This is, without a doubt, a million-dollar idea. USF needs to take full advantage of the opportunity before someone else does. The Sami Al-Arian story has garnered national attention (both Time magazine and the New York Times ran pieces on his firing), and the situation isn’t expected to be resolved anytime soon. While the administration may be hesitant to draw more attention to the Judy/Sami squabble, it’s clear the benefits outweigh the costs in this situation. There’s almost no end to the possibilities in the venture. One idea to get the project off the ground would be to make a line of bobble-head dolls, including the Al-Arian case all-stars: Judy Genshaft, Provost Stamps, Sammy Kalmowicz and Al-Arian himself. From trading cards to T-shirts that say, “I was on The O’Reilly Factor and all I got was this crummy T-shirt,” USF would be crazy not to take this opportunity all the way to the top.

  • Contact Dustin Dwyer at