Your heart fills with furious joy after each completed final exam–yet, at the same time, you say goodbye to fellow Vanguardians and fill boxes with everything you own. Pausing as you pack up your car, a curious campus squirrel catches your eye. “How cute,” you think to yourself, and give it a piece of your cracker for the last time before summer.
A few months later, and you’re moving back in, smiling as you see a campus squirrel right outside your window. But there’s something you don’t know.
That squirrel isn’t the same furry creature you fed four months ago, oh no. Because that squirrel, along with all the others, died. And it’s your fault.
Since squirrels are fed by Vanguardians, when they experience a gap of food provision during the four-week Christmas break and the nearly four-month summer break, they are unable to feed themselves. Consequently, they die. Their offspring replace them each semester.
Local squirrel charmer Daniel Cummings has studied these particular Vanguard squirrels for five years, in addition to his time spent at the world-renowned NIFSRAR, National Institute for Squirrel Research and Repopulation.
“In my years of squirrel studying, I’ve seen it happen too many times: populations decimated due to students overfeeding them and thereby making them forget how to feed themselves,” Cummings said.
This has been happening on campus far too long and it must be stopped. Cummings is takings steps to fix the problem statewide, not just on campus.
“I’m currently working with recently elected Libertarian senator Diefenbäker (CA) and PETA to make squirrel feeding a felony throughout the state,” Cummings said.
For Vanguard’s part in the squirrel issue, a punishment system is expected to take effect at the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester. Students should avoid the squirrels at all cost. Whenever the word comes up in conversation, and you suspect someone of referring to Vanguard squirrels, immediately report the person to Campus Safety. You may do so anonymously by visiting squirrelreport.vanguard.edu.Campus Safety is on the alert for student-squirrel interaction and if a student is caught, he or she will be placed on academic probation until further notice.
In extreme cases, such as a student attempting to keep a squirrel or continuing to approach the squirrel(s), the student will be physically restrained and tranquilized. Afterwards, the student
may be suspended or required to write 1,000 lines on a chalkboard saying, “Squirrels are not my friends. Squirrels are not my friends. . .”
Mephibosheth Cottonwood is the new Campus Squirrel Monitor, a position created to enforce the elimination of student-squirrel interaction and to reverse the rapid turnover of the squirrel population.
“It seems as though we’re giving harsh punishments, but allowing this [squirrel] behavior to continue is worse,” Cottonwood said. “We hope students will realize consequences and adjust their behavior accordingly.”
Cummings feels that the consequences are necessary.
“I believe that the punishments for squirrel-student contact are essential because without disciplinary action, students will contribute to the mass homicide of these majestic rodents,” Cummings said. “Hey–get away from that squirrel! Where’s my tranquilizer gun?” he continued.
While the punishments do not take effect until Fall, students would be wise to avoid squirrel contact beginning immediately.
This editorial is entirely a work of fiction and is not meant to be taken seriously or in any part as fact. All persons, institutions and actions are fictional. Furthermore, nobody will be tranquilized.