Mikaela Hobson, Layout Manager
Everyday, students across campus walk from the residence halls to the caf for meals. But recently, students have observed small critters rustling around in trash cans as they stroll back from dinner.
According to one freshman student named Ralph, “I was leaving the caf with my to-go boxes when a squirrel jumped out of the garbage can next to the door. At first I was startled, but I just kept walking. Before I knew it, three more were following behind and closing in fast. These trash squirrels on this campus have a reputation. I had no choice but to give them my food and run.”
While squirrels scavenging for food is somewhat understandable, they seem to be after more than just food, sometimes even being violent with students.
“Those squirrels are out for blood, dude. I was confronted by a few outside of Baran the other day. I didn’t have any food on me, so they beat me up and stole my backpack for wasting their time. If the ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse is absurd, I guess I’ll just have to take the L.”
The impact that the squirrels are having on academics cannot be understated.
According to a statement from the registrar on the matter: “We have noticed a substantial decline in attendance to classes, and this was further reflected in mid-term grades, which dropped an average of 0.8 GPA points.”
But why would squirrels lead to a drop in attendance?
According to one student named Donnie, who missed class for several days because of the squirrels, “One time, I threw an empty wrapper in the trash by Harned. I didn’t realize there was a squirrel hiding in there, but it chased me all the way back to my room. It started sitting on the tree outside my window, and has been watching me ever since. A few have joined since then. I’m so scared that I haven’t left my room in four days.”
The Office of Public Safety has advised students to fight back against squirrels with whatever they have at their disposal.
According to a statement from the office: “Students are advised to take all precautions against squirrels. This includes running when possible, but also fighting back when necessary. We have also had numerous reports of students crashing cars due to squirrels running across the street quickly causing students to swerve unnecessarily. Please remember that these are potentially dangerous animals and you can never be too careful.”
Some students are not deterred from the danger that the squirrels present to the campus, and are ready to fight back.
According to Sophia, “The squirrels on this campus are bullies and I find it ridiculous that college students are giving into their aggression. If I’m ever approached by a hungry squirrel, I won’t be going down without a fight. I care more about my food than I do about my grades.”
However the issues may run even deeper than simple bullying. The squirrels seem to think that they are a part of the campus community. The Office of Admissions has reported that several have applied to be students for the 2020-2021 academic year, and the Office of Human Resources has reported that others have applied for positions as adjunct faculty and cafeteria workers. This has led some staff to speculate about their ultimate intentions. According to an anonymous staff member: “I’m getting a little freaked out by how much power these squirrels have on campus. They bully students constantly. I know it sounds crazy, but I swear I overheard them plotting to kidnap President Heynderickx and take over the university.”