Loud student groups are disruptive on college campuses, often forcing change. This may be because of our linguistic and emotional intelligence, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the species without these capacities. Recently on campus, squirrels have been actively demonstrating their discontent by staging garbage can sit-ins, blocking the bike path and marching through buildings while class is in session. As tensions rise, squirrels are resorting to violence; there have been nine reports of squirrel attacks this week, five of which led to a rabies infection. Despite being destructive, loud and increasingly angry, RIT Native Squirrels are still largely ignored by busy, neglectful humans.


Distorter met with Slappy, Cheeks and Joe, leaders of the squirrel community, to try and determine the cause of the recent rodent rampage. During our visit to the recent protest staged at the garbage can outside Java Wally's, we were delivered a surprisingly articulate list of problems prepared by the three spokesrodents who claim the rampage is in response to our collective neglect for squirrel well being.

  • As construction on campus continues, dwindling woodlands and wetlands has shifted the squirrel diet from nuts and seeds to half-full Java’s cups and double-boiled Gracie’s hamburgers
  • The rate of local squirrel obesity has consequently risen exponentially in recent years, increasing from nine percent in 2000 all the way up to 60 percent in 2015
  • Squirrels are suffering from a 30 percent increase in caffeine-induced hyperactivity and manic-depressive disorders due to exposure to carelessly discarded coffee cups. One half-full cup of Java’s coffee discarded in an outdoor trash can contains enough caffeine to push even the healthiest squirrel heart into cardiac arrest.
  • In the face of all these threats, RIT has denied the increasingly unhealthy squirrels access to healthcare professionals. As a result, the local population is plummeting.

One half-full cup of Java’s coffee discarded in an outdoor trash can contains enough caffeine to push even the healthiest squirrel heart into cardiac arrest.


To Slappy and his irate compatriots, this all comes down to a lack of healthy food options on campus. 

"In my great-great-great-great-grandfather's time, this was a good town," Slappy bemoaned. "We had more nuts than we knew what to do with. Squirrels used to have competitions to see how many nuts they could fit in their cheeks and just spit them out when they got soggy, we had so many."

Now the swampy woodland larder of yesteryear is gone, replaced with barren bricks and garbage cans.

"Even students obviously don't want to eat a double-cooked, mystery-juice-soaked Gracie's burger. Imagine having to scrounge their half eaten leftovers out of the bottom of a garbage can! It's degrading," Slappy ranted. 

“It’s particularly offensive because those burgers wouldn’t even be donated to Recover Rochester because of food safety concerns,” he added. It seems like we’ve been pickier about what we feed the homeless than what we leave out for wildlife. Keeping in mind that squirrels are usually vegetarian, choosing to eat meat at all must be out of necessity.

Cheeks, a solitary squirrel often spotted running in circles on the bike paths when not protesting the man, has some ideas about additional food service options.

"Really, what we need is a 24/7 wild animal diet choice that's sensitive to picky species," she said, representing the squirrel consensus. 

“Real furries wouldn’t eat people food," she added, appealing to this large population of RIT students whom the squirrels hope to recruit as allies

Real furries wouldn't eat people food.

Our statistical correspondent and leader of the protests, Joe, emphasized that Cheeks’ ideas were progressive, but don't go far enough in addressing the squirrel's concerns.

"President Munchkin needs to provide free health care services and a weekly nut stipend to all local squirrels,” he demanded. This, he believes, would be one of many necessary steps to take to achieve campus peace again.

“A free grooming clinic wouldn't hurt either. I warned him, but Slappy caught fleas from some broad at the Furry convention last May," he added.

Squirrels used to prosper on this swamp, free to choose between a variety of nuts and seeds. Humans and their bounty of bricks are squatters on their land, and so we as students must feel a moral obligation to protect the native species. Their demands are more than fair. Represent what's right and join us on a Walk for Rodents on April 1 on the quarter-mile, and together let’s show the world that Tigers, Squirrels, and Furries alike can live in harmony.