Students living in car win third place in nationwide Chevorlet challenge

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    The sidewalk adjacent to the Mary Couts Burnett Library is bare once again after two students moved out of the car parked there as part of last week’s Chevrolet Aveo Challenge.Chris Qualls, a junior communications major, and Cohlby Youtsey, a senior middle school education major, placed third in Chevrolet’s Aveo Challenge, where they were required to live in a 2007 Chevy Aveo from 10 a.m. Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 at 11 p.m. central time.

    The challenge was a competition among pairs of students from various universities to see who could get the most text message and online votes for their school, Qualls said. The University of Southern California won the competition.

    The challenge rules required Qualls and Youtsey to attend all classes chaperoned by a Chevrolet-hired public relations firm representative, but to otherwise be in constant contact with the vehicle, Qualls said.

    Rules only allowed one ten-minute break every two hours, Qualls said.

    Qualls and Youtsey also had to carry out daily challenges set by Chevy, Qualls said. Challenges included a canned food drive, scavenger hunt, constructing an online political voting campaign, attempting to gather as many people as possible to touch the car at once and planning a fair-well party.

    Qualls and Youtsey won two out of the five challenges; the best online political voting campaign, which is visible on the challenge Web site, aveolinvinlarge.com, and the challenge for the most people touching the car at once, which was accomplished through 143 simultaneous car touches, Qualls said.

    Qualls said though they did not win the overall challenge, they did win a free massage at the University Recreation Center and dinner catered by Silverfox for their two daily challenge wins, all paid for by Chevrolet. If victorious, Qualls said, Qualls and Youtsey would have each won a new Chevy Aveo.

    “I really wanted it,” said Youtsey. “A new car, are you kidding me?”

    Sophomore business major Sal Rallo, who spent time at the car throughout the week, said he was glad to keep Qualls and Youtsey company.

    “Chris is my big for Pi Kappa Phi,” Rallo said. “I was actually able to see him more because I knew where he was.”

    Rallo said it was no surprise Qualls and Youtsey competed in the challenge.

    “Of all people, Chris and Colby would,” Rallo said.

    Both Qualls and Youtsey said even though they knew a win was unlikely due to TCU’s relatively small size, the experience was still fun.

    “It’s a good story” Youtsey said.

    Qualls said he was glad the competition was over.

    “It’s great sleeping in my own bed,” Qualls said.

    Both Qualls and Youtsey said though it was not difficult living in a car for a week, it was inconvenient.

    “It’s just the sleeping at night,” Youtsey said, “and the cramps and soreness the next morning.”

    Qualls and Youtsey said they had to depend on others for constant assistance in attaining food and other necessities because they could not do it for themselves.

    “You find out who your real friends are,” Youtsey said. However, Qualls and Youtsey both said unless their win was guaranteed, they would not participate in the challenge again.