Going off to college or university can be a scary time for any student. Learning a new city, making friends, staying on top of classes, and working a job all while being away from home for the first time can feel overwhelming. That’s why having a consistent friendly figure on campus can make a big impact on a student.
At the University of Ottawa, that consistent figure is Rudy, the affectionately named ‘Hot Dog Guy.’ A beloved figure, Rudy is known to be at his hot dog cart rain, shine, snow, or, according to one student, even during a campus-wide lockdown. Some people get very hungry when they’re terrified.
Recently, a GoFundMe account was set up for Rudy, with students donating money towards a gift for the local campus staple. The GoFundMe account explains the motivation behind the fundraiser, saying, “We want to say thank you, for sticking with us for so long, so a small present for the break to show appreciation of his good attitude and positive outlook.” With this act of kindness, the students behind the fund are hoping to make the campus a more positive place, writing “Uottawa is a big community and if we start with a small thank you to unsuspecting people, who knows what we might be able to achieve in the future?”
In just eight days, the fund has already reached $960, just under its goal of $1,000.
While the comments section of the GoFundMe account show a unanimous outpouring of love for Rudy, the details of what the money from the fund should be used for are up for debate. The fund page outlines three ideas, including giving the cash raised directly to Rudy, using the money to buy him a gift, or asking Rudy to use some of the money to buy hot dogs and help feed the homeless and keep the rest for himself.
Many students have weighed in on the debate in the comments section, with suggestions of a warm winter coat and covering the fee to park his hot dog stand on campus. The overall consensus is to gift Rudy the money in its entirety and let the local businessman decide how to spend it. Linda Hachemi, who appears to be one of the students that started the GoFundMe campaign, noted in the comments section “We have recently gotten in contact with some of Rudy’s family members and will try our best to deliver it in a way he will enjoy it best!”
If students at U of Ottawa are still considering gift ideas for Rudy, they could always take a note from students at the University of North Carolina, who raised enough money on GoFundMe to send a campus coffee shop employee and her family to Disney World.