‘Free at Miami Oh’ points cash-strapped students in the right direction
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 00:02
While students trudge through the snow towards restaurants and clothing stores in uptown Oxford, pockets full of money, senior Tyler Nichols travels and pays far less.
Nichols’ comprehensive awareness of events on campus has gotten him loads of free food, goods and services, and now he’s sharing it with everybody.
On Jan. 7, upon the advice of senior housemate Bryan Stewart, Nichols created a blog site, freeatmiamioh.wordpress.com, Facebook and Twitter page, all for his concept “Free at Miami Oh.”
“For students, I hope the blog provides information about interesting events that are either free or pretty cheap on campus or in the area,” Nichols said. “A lot of students claim there isn’t anything to do on the weekends other than going out, but there really is a lot going on in Oxford. A lot of the time there are events that we just don’t pay attention to.”
Through social media, Nichols posts about events at which free or discounted goods are available—namely, what type of free stuff will be available at said events, who will be sponsoring them, the times during which the events will be taking place and the location of the events.
Stewart proposed the idea after Nichols came across a number of free food events on campus set to take place on consecutive days.
“[Nichols] would always offer great deals and opportunities for free, so I suggested he start up some sort of blog to streamline it for students,” Stewart said.
Nichols then put the plan into action on several formats of social media in hopes that it would catch on throughout Oxford. Right now, the pages are still taking off. The Facebook page has 50 likes and the Twitter page has six followers.
Nichols’ incentive for creating the site is to entertain and potentially assist others—nothing more, nothing less.
“No one is paying me to make the posts,” Nichols said. “I’m just writing what I think would be interesting to the readers.”
Those who have already caught on, including first-year Michael Cebulka, are seemingly interested.
“Many dining options on and off campus are lavishly expensive,” Cebulka said. “It’s always nice to know where and when I can snag some free food.”
However, readers are not the only ones benefiting from the recent endeavor, Nichols is also learning. He has stumbled upon a number of accessible avenues for discovering narrowly known facets of local restaurants, and attaining free things, such as T-shirts, food and even Chapstick.
“How many people noticed that Doughby’s has weekend breakfast hours?” Nichols said. “And, I [found out] that on certain days in FSB, if you wear red, you get [free] stuff.”
Beyond the parameters of his social networking pages and blogs, Nichols has further thrifty suggestions for students seeking deals on campus.
“Liking or following the Facebook or Twitter pages of student organizations helps,” Nichols said. “That’s how I knew that there was a mini scavenger hunt, hiding tickets around campus [that were] redeemable for a free pair of TOMs shoes.”
According to Nichols, there are even simpler ways to catch wind of bargains or perks of local businesses.
“Look at the windows of uptown businesses.” Nichols said. “All you really have to do is take a break from texting, and look at the A frames or sheet signs [on campus and uptown].”
For those who navigate the streets of Oxford, both on and off campus, and conclude that there is ‘nothing’ to do— Nichols said he hopes that a quick skim of “Free at Miami Oh” will swiftly discount such cognition.