Satire: Are UMass squirrels furry friends or Subbaswamy’s spies?

The squirrels are out to get you

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Daily Collegian (2019)

By Julia Bragg, Collegian Correspondent

Editor’s Note: The following column is satirical. It is meant for humorous purposes. All interviews and individuals are fictitious.

Lock your doors and grab a baseball bat — the UMass squirrels are out to get you.

The squirrels at UMass Amherst are deranged, leading many students to believe they’re plotting our demise and possibly serve as minions of Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy.

Whether it’s stalking you at your windowsill or running around chasing another squirrel’s tail, UMass squirrels seem to be more than just an innocent, furry presence on campus. Walking to class, many students are cut off by these rats blocking the 11 a.m. inflow of traffic through the center of campus. They’re constantly in everyone’s business … and their food.

The Zoomass Instagram account posted a video of a squirrel eating an entire slice of cheese pizza from Roots Cafe, which begs the question of whether or not this squirrel simply found the piece of pizza or if it did vile things to furiously steal it from a broke, hardworking and hungry college student.

As someone who lives in a Southwest low rise on the basement floor, the view out of my window is flooded with demented squirrels who look just look hungry. Hungry for food or hungry for revenge? We will never know.

Students in my building reported seeing “squirrels looking at them in their sleep and that their bright red eyes glowed with murderous vengeance.” Sightings of claw marks on the side of the building have also been reported — leaving no question as to the malicious intentions these squirrels clearly have.

A theory went around that UMass was strictly squirrels back in the day, led by their master, Chancellor Subbaswamy. The squirrels would meet in their masses and recreate that one scene where the aliens from “Toy Story” all say “the claw” in a tone of awe. Except the claw in this scenario is Subbaswamy.

In 1863, when modern-day UMass was founded, these squirrels no longer enrolled as students, leaving them with no housing or no meal plan. As they saw Subbaswamy give attention to human students, they decided they would retaliate, as they were now forced to be lowly scavengers with no home. They stuck around campus in their little trees, watching Swamy’s new students galivant around what was seen as their campus. Essentially glorified rats, there’s little to no retaliation they can do except for get in everyone’s way, steal everyone’s food and stir up nonsense around campus.

This theory also led students to believe that Swamy did this on purpose — choosing to keep the squirrels around as his spies. The squirrels eating and standing like humans may be an attempt to “fit in” with fellow students when they are truly just watching their every move.

As seen on @Umasssquirrels, squirrels are still attempting to live out their lives as real college students. Posts show our seemingly friendly squirrels wearing graduation caps and riding on bicycles. Furthermore, the red eyes previously reported by a student may be a hidden camera embedded in their skull. Who can really be sure? With all the funding this school gets, who’s to say they aren’t spending thousands of dollars on miniature spy gear for squirrels?

As Swamy is our Gru and squirrels are our minions, there’s really no telling what secrets UMass is keeping from us. I can truly imagine a day where the dining halls are bombarded with squirrels, and a furry, rat-like being takes my seat in lecture.

Watch your back — these squirrels don’t rest.

Julia Bragg can be reached at [email protected]