On the cold Monday evening of Feb. 22, Jacob Reny sat down at his big square desk and began his nightly shift in the OSIL room at the MUB. As Reny was grabbing some keys out of a drawer, he heard fellow OSIL staff member Will McKernan scream, “Where the hell is Jeffrey!” Panic ensued in the confines of the OSIL room as the two of them, in a state of utmost hysteria, rushed around the room in search of their six-month-old bamboo plant, ‘Jeffrey.’
Gena Kalampalikis was Jeffrey’s original adoptive mother. After she graduated from UNH in 2015, she entrusted the OSIL group to protect and care for her innocent little bamboo shoot. At that point in time, Jeffrey’s leaves were just only brimming out of his glass pot.
Jeffrey did not come alone. Kalampalikis also mothered another bamboo plant named Larry, who in turn was the brother of Jeffrey. Sadly, Larry succumbed to the same fate prior to his brother’s disappearance, as he has been missing since early fall.
“Larry and Jeffrey are not replaceable!” McKernan exclaimed, adding that, “you cannot replace a member of our MUB love community.”
The ordeal with Larry occurred back in the fall before classes officially began, and the arrival of the freshman class created much “foot traffic” in the MUB, but nothing seemed to be out of the norm. “Larry represented the community well, he was a great Wildcat,” Reny said of the plant.
In reference to the freshmen, Remy said “We didn’t know them yet,” and sure enough, when the MUB training day came around, Larry was gone.
Reny and McKernan were both under the impression that the bamboo plants were in a “safe place.”
When asked if these two separate incidents could be connected, McKernan responded by saying, “It is not outside the realm of possibility that their plant-napping could be connected.” He added, “I don’t think a bamboo plant just sprouted legs and walked off at his own volition.”
Both Larry and Jeffrey experienced exceptional lives up until the time of their disappearances. The two of them lived upon Reny’s desk, right next to each other. They were always watered, which kept them a vibrant green and Reny noted that they “always had people talking to them.” According to McKernan “The MUB love poured out onto them.”
After the disappearance of Jeffrey, Reny noted that “Everyone showed much concern, and we all sat down and had some emotional talks about him.”
McKernan’s biggest fear is that Jeffrey is no longer growing, and Reny said “he could be in the the back of a car somewhere…if your’re out there Jeffrey, we love you, come home.”
McKernan, with a sense of hope, added, “Jeffrey, we desperately miss you, and we hope that you are still growing well, and we hope you return to your MUB community.”