Ohio party house turned business venture

Upon initial observation, the popular ‘Animal House’ Twitter account, handled “@68StewartSt,” may seem like an ordinary party house. But it doesn’t just live up to Bobcat expectations of simply updating students about bumpin’ bashes.

The wise guys behind the infamous Twitter account have taken the overwhelmingly positive response from students and local Athens businesses and turned it into a small business venture, teaming up with local business Camel Hookah Lounge and selling OU t-shirts.

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Photo courtesy of @68StewartSt. One of the OU shirts the ‘Animal House’ sells to turn a profit

Senior health services administration major Phil Morehead runs the account with roomies Nate Harlan, a senior sports management major and Kevin James, a senior media major along with their good buddy who merely loves to tweet, Brice Gottesman, a senior meteorology major.

“This all started last year.  We would have huge parties at our apartment in River Park with more than 300 people showing up.  Our parties outgrew our place, so we decided to get a house for the next year,” Morehead said.  “We signed the lease for 68 Stewart and decided to name ourselves ‘Animal House’ after the old movie, because I kind of look like John Belushi.”

The guys decided to start a Facebook page for their future home right after signing the lease.  “It’s funny,”  he said, “we had more than 300 likes before we even moved in.”

The “Animals” threw a few freshman socials at the beginning of the semester.  “We weren’t even planning on partying with them.  We just wanted to get a feel for what the new class was like.” Morehead said. Turns out, they’re the rowdiest class I’ve seen, most turnt.  I guess you could blame my class for that; they’ve watched us go hard for the past three years.  The freshmen are just modeling their behavior after us.”

Maddie Bartha, a freshman undecided major is a result of their freshman reach out. “I heard about the Twitter a couple weeks before we moved in.  I followed the @68StewartSt handle and then Phil added me on Facebook so I could get invites to their parties. They’re crazy,” she said.

In August, not long after the Facebook page was launched, OU administration caught wind of the page and didn’t like how it could add  to OU’s already lofty party school reputation.  The boys didn’t like OU officials knowing about their shenanigans, so they decided to open a private Twitter account instead.

“We told the people who liked our Facebook page that we were moving to Twitter and accepted any follow request from OU students, but not from administrators,” Morehead said.  Popular anonymous Bobcat Twitter accounts, @OUConfessions and @OUCrushes helped distribute word about the move as well.

The account primarily tweets pictures from their parties and announces big blowouts happening at their own and at other party houses in Athens.  “It’s crazy,” Morehead said.  “Over 600 people come sometimes.  If you ever plan on being a party house, fully prepare yourself for absolutely everything to be destroyed.”

Among the party casualties are a basement window and the front door knob.  “Keep your valuables locked away in a bedroom,” he advised.

But the gentlemen at “Animal House” don’t just know how to throw and document a rager; they’re also budding businessmen.  Over the course of the semester, they’ve used their massive following to sell Halftime tickets and OU t-shirts.  Recently, Camel Hookah Bar reached out to the tweeters and asked them to advertise on their page.

“Business is going well,” Morehead said. “We’re definitely going to start selling some more merchandise. We may even start an official site over winter break.  We were going to name it Animal House Productions but some silly guys already took that name.”

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Photo courtesy of @68StewartSt: One of the “Animals” relaxes at Camel Hookah Lounge, tweeting this picture to entice his followers to join him.

 Moving forward, the fellows plan on starting an Instagram account to document pictures of their festivities.  If you’re interested in keeping up with the ‘Animal House’ tomfoolery, give the @68StewartSt Twitter a follow.  But whatever you do, don’t tell Morehead’s parents.  “Hell, no, my parents haven’t seen the page.” he said. “They’d freak out.”

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