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My Old House: 242 College Park

My Old House: 242 College Park

Zoë Hill '22 September 13, 2022

In the early ’80s, tucked to the right of 242 College Park, stood a small garage with covered windows and a “No Trespassing” sign. The storage garage was always locked — until the day it wasn’t.  

Jayne Kassman Tegge ’83 and her Omega Sorority sisters, Tamara Moulin Bicknell ’81 and Beverly Mullen Idzakovich ’81, watched as University staff went in and out of the garage while the women lived at the house all year. They had attempted to get in before, but it wasn’t until they noticed the lock missing one afternoon that they finally ventured inside. 

“We came home one day and noticed that the door was unlocked and, of course, we’re going exploring,” Tegge said. “There were all kinds of first aid kits, water containers, MREs and this big tub labeled ‘survival biscuits.’” 

Illustration of 242 College Park


The group pried open the tub and took some of the biscuits back to the house to taste test. According to Tegge, the “Cold War biscuits” were high-protein crackers and were similar to matzah in taste and texture. 

Presumably leftover in University storage from the Cold War era, “survival biscuits” were issued in the early 1960s by the U.S. government as a so-called “doomsday food.” Made from protein-rich bulgar wheat, the biscuits had a long shelf life for Americans to have on hand in case of an atomic

Just a few months before their big biscuit discovery, the Omega sisters participated in Miller Brewing Co.’s aluminum can collection contest in early 1981. They picked up cans throughout the student neighborhood on the weekends and up and down the football stands after home games. 

“Our teeny little sorority — which probably had only 20 people — won the contest, and we threw a giant party in the house,” Tegge said. Miller Brewing Co. awarded the sorority $1,000, which the women used part of to buy a stereo system. 

With such a large crowd gathered at the house, the women of 242 College Park knew they had the perfect hors d’oeuvres to pass out to their guests. 

“There were tons and tons of people there, and we broke out the ‘survival biscuits’ and served them,” Tegge said. “Nobody ever said that the biscuits were bad. So I guess if you were hungry, the biscuits were fine.”

“Nobody ever said that the biscuits were bad. So I guess if you were hungry, the biscuits were fine.”

The garage was torn down after that year, and the women said they were glad they got into it when they did. The Omega Sorority — which in 1984 became Alpha Phi — went on to win the can collection contest the following year, even with increased competition from campus organizations that caught wind of the sorority’s previous success.  

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