Flavet Villages at the University of Florida
by Mike Miller
(Mount Dora, Florida)
Flavet Village, Mrs. Turner
I attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida from 1963 until graduation in 1966.
It probably would have been too expensive for me to go had it not been for the existence of married student housing known as Flavet Villages.
Rent was $28/month for me and my wife and daughter. We paid an extra $5/month for a refrigerator. There were no air conditioners in these apartments; the wiring wouldn't handle it.
The housing consisted of old army barracks that had been moved to the U.F. campus immediately after World War Two from Camp Blanding, an army base near Jacksonville.
The housing was to be temporary to handle the anticipated crush of veterans going to school on the G.I. Bill.
The crush certainly happened, but the housing hung on until 1974.
The name "Flavet" came from a combination of the words "Florida" and "Veterans".
The villages were placed at three separate locations on campus.
Flavet I was near the Reitz Union.
Flavet II was at the corner of N.W. 13th and Radio Rd (today's Museum Rd) on the site of what is now Beaty Towers.
Flavet III was located not far from "Fraternity Row" where the Keys Residential Complex is currently located.
All of us who lived in the villages had quite a few things in common: we were married, we had children, we were serious students and we were poor.
We also shared the common curse of cockroaches.
The cockroaches in the Flavet Villages were legendary.
There was an urban legend among the village residents that a psychology student lived in the villages shortly after World War Two and was experimenting with cockroaches.
He trained the cockroaches to disappear instantly when lights came on and to appear instantly when the lights went off.
He also trained them to hide quietly in the walls, and taught them how to reproduce even more prolifically than they normally do.
He showed them how to sneak into a loaf of bread or a cardboard cereal box, and even taught them how to get a drink of coffee by crawling down the coffee pot spout.
The problem is that this student got attached to his roaches. When it was time to graduate, he couldn't bear to kill them so he released them into his apartment.
The progeny of these roaches pestered subsequent Flavet residents for years.
As miserable as living conditions could be in these little places, the misery was worth bearing because it allowed us to graduate.
So thank you, University of Florida.
Credits for the photographs are as follows:
Mrs. Turner: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/66423
Small Family: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/66430
Flavet Village: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/66424
Mr. Turner: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/66422