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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Opinion: Let’s talk about campus squirrels

Photo by Cassie Stricker

Squirrels are among the wildlife found on campus.

The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Fox Squirrels are a campus staple. Scampering around Military Walk and hiding acorns in the grasses of Academic Plaza, these furry scholars have made campus their home as much as any other student.

Despite this, Aggies’ opinions about them vary from “adorable lil guys” to “freeloading devils.” So, what’s right?

Bold and Brash

Aggie squirrels have fewer boundaries than your assigned roommate freshman year. Whether you’re just meandering around campus or rushing to class, the little beasties will get unnervingly close.

Sometimes, even this is too much for some Aggies. If I had a nickel for every time I saw someone booking it in front of Bolton Hall with half a sandwich in their hand and the other half on the ground, a sacrifice to appease the furry demon in pursuit, I’d have as many nickels as there are A’s in “Texas A&M.”

But think about it — students are their main food source. They survive off Chick-fil-A fries and Sbisa scraps, so they’ve come to expect a kind of tax from any student holding food. Can we hold them responsible for a behavior that we ourselves started?

Their Nuts — er, hoarding habits

Somewhere, concealed in the dark underbelly of A&M, I bet there are reservoirs of thousands upon thousands of acorns. All the food they need comes from students. They don’t need to eat acorns, but they still have the evolutionary urge to find them.

And then what do they do? They bury them deep below the groundwork of the university itself. Or, you know, shallowly in the mulch coating every flower bed on campus. Either works.

Their Nuts — er, family jewels

Aggie squirrels scuttle around campus in blissful ignorance of things such as “public decency,” and as such are unconcerned with the human hubris of clothing.

I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate further, but just in case someone here’s still not smelling what I’m stepping in I’ll lay it out for you: Mating season is surprisingly long and coincides with the fall semester.

And let’s just say that you can gender squirrels very, very easily during this period.

Conspiracy Theories

Whether or not you appreciate their presence, campus squirrels have inspired countless conspiracy theories. A few of my favorites:

  1. They’re remote controlled

  2. They’re bugged

  3. Miss Rev is just 12 squirrels duct taped together under a fursuit

Though none of these have been proven, the squirrels really have been tracked in the past. A 2002 study conducted by A&M’s Roel Lopez Ph.D. fitted about 15 squirrels with chic black collars, which could sometimes be seen scampering around campus.

Though now less fashionable, the squirrels are as perceptive as ever. One look and they can tell everything about you, like your GPA and whether you have a granola bar in your pocket.

However, with that being said, they are also surprisingly gullible beasts. No matter your original rating on the squibe-ometer — that’s squirrel-vibe-ometer, for those not in the biz — given enough time and treats, any campus squirrel can become a furry friend and your new favorite lunch buddy.

Charis Adkins is an English sophomore and opinion columnist for The Battalion.

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Charis Adkins, Opinion Columnist
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