Nazi Origins of EVK Dining Hall at USC

Text: They say, like, EVK stands for, the name of this person who was a Nazi, but they like re-did the name to where it now says Everybody’s Kitchen.


Informant is a freshman at USC studying Aerospace Engineering, originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. We are sitting in a USC dining hall as she shares between bites of her pancake. She is excited and enthusiastic as she remembers her stories, using frequent hand gestures to emphasize her points.

“But people are like, it doesn’t make sense because like everybody’s kitchen. Why is the V in there? You know, like EVK, I don’t know. So like, yeah. I heard this from other people at USC, I never actually looked it up myself. I did believe it. I don’t know because they gave me like an actual name for the supposed namesake of EVK. So I was like, oh, I don’t know. It made me feel kind of funny. I was kind of like, oh, that’s so interesting. But then again, I was like, why would they keep it there if it was actually donated by a Nazi? I feel like people would find out and it would be a whole scandal because they have like that whole Jewish section of USC, you know?”

Analysis: This folk narrative is an example of a legend. It is meant to socially negotiate your beliefs, especially since there is little evidence presented to promote the belief, but just enough to make one question if this is true. There is a sort of aesthetic to this belief because it makes the day-to-day life of these college students visiting EVK dining hall a bit more interesting if they believe in this scandalous legend. It meets the requirements of legends of being plausible within this society because most USC students are aware of factual scandals and questionable history of the institution and therefore a Nazi namesake fits into the belief of this society.