Squirrels on campus have begun taking over the facilities, including water fountains and bathrooms. Photo courtesy of brownpau via Flickr.
The constrictive stress of final exams, crippling student debt and the “food” they serve at True Grit’s looms over UMBC’s campus like vultures circling a recently deceased mechanical engineering student.
However, an even more malevolent threat haunts Academic Row, hiding in and behind trash cans, thirsty for blood. The squirrels on campus are a menace, and the school is not doing enough to protect students from these monsters.
“It was such a nice day outside, and I was studying in my hammock,” recalls Dedan Side, a junior majoring in walking and jogging. “Anyways, next thing I know, there’s a furry blur coming at me.”
Before Side knew it, the squirrel was waving something at him: it had bitten an acorn into the shape of a shiv, and was holding the makeshift knife within inches of his face. “I didn’t even have any food on me, but the squirrel was making it clear that this was a holdup. I turned out my pockets and everything.”
Like many on campus, Side’s hopes of soaking up the sunlight and reclaiming some of the precious life force that his classes had sucked from him were dashed by the terror that is the campus squirrel population.
Incidents like the one Side suffered are serving as a wakeup call for universities across the country. There has been a disturbing national trend of militant behavior in small mammals on college campuses. UMBC’s squirrel issues are just part of a larger problem.
For example, rabbits at Harvard have been known to tie professors to chairs and make them watch as the rabbits disprove their equations on the chalkboard. Furthermore, a trio of hoodie-clad chipmunks recently took over the music program at Juilliard by force.
However, the violent behavior of the squirrels at UMBC is alarming experts even more. “The situation at UMBC is rather dire,” says Dr. Acorn E. Jolk, an expert consultant with the Association of Squirrel Studies. “Some of the behavior we’ve seen is downright unsettling,” he says, referencing previous ASS research.
Some students have observed squirrels using Chik-Fil-A’s condiment packets as war paint, while others have seen them experimenting with the chemicals in Meyerhoff Chemistry, presumably in hopes of cooking up an explosive device. Many other people have also watched the squirrels perform interpretive dance in the Performing Arts and Humanities building.
Dr. Jolk insists that action is necessary. “This trend shows no signs of slowing down,” he says, “and students must be kept safe.”
Indeed, the school must act. The solution? “Squirrel-hunting days,” says Student Events Board representative Pat Rickstar, a sophomore majoring in wumbology. He explains that these would be events where students would group up and set out to club as many squirrels as possible.
SEB could use the event as part of their Welcome Week programming, and in that capacity, it would serve to help new students find new friends as they cave in the heads of rodents together. Additionally, squirrel-hunting days would have the added benefit of providing fresh meat for them to cook up at True Grits.
In short, UMBC needs to act to fix its squirrel problem, and the best way to do so is to bring the whole campus together in the activity of hunting the rodents. SEB needs to make this happen. Students are sure to go nuts for it.