Staff Picks: Replacing the campus squirrels with different animals

Squirrels are everywhere.

Day and night, anywhere on campus, there’s a fuzzy little ball of mischief within a few feet of you. However, it’s not just about the number of squirrels on campus. Penn State squirrels are not typical. They don’t care about anything or anyone.

Kind of like a drunk student on a Friday night, the squirrels do whatever they want hunting for some nuts. It’s crazy how close the campus squirrels get to you. There used to be a girl who legitimately dated the chipmunks.

Sure, squirrels are great. They are campus icons right now. However, we got to thinking…

What if the squirrels on campus were replaced by a different animal? Whatever the animal, there would be the same number and attitude as the squirrels on campus today. If we could choose a replacement for squirrels, this is what some of our employees would choose.

Nolan Wick: Howler Monkeys

Howler monkeys would be an interesting option for this campus. Imagine walking to class, watching them run down Old Main, and hearing them howl relentlessly through the trees 24/7. Plus, they would make Beaver Stadium even louder on game days.

Mackenzie Bruns: Prairie Dogs

I’d go for prairie dogs for sure because they fit the Penn States vibe. First, they always stay in small groups, which perfectly describes the cult culture of Penn State. No matter where you go, there is always someone who has a connection to Penn State. As a member of the squirrel family, prairie dogs would hold up to the squirrel reputation quite well. I’d rather have a prairie dog follow me than have a squirrel attack my feet!

Mikey De Angelis: Golden Retrievers

College can be tough sometimes, and I think a lot of college students would agree with me when I say that seeing a dog on campus is usually a little joyous moment to distract you from the fact that you’re walking to the Pollock Testing Center. Now, imagine if there were hundreds of Golden Retrievers all over campus, just like squirrels. I would never be unhappy again. I would also go back to class as I would spend the whole day hanging out with my new friends.

Rico Gore: Hippos

If we’re being honest, I just googled the most dangerous animals and picked my favorite. Here’s the thing: Penn State admitted more students this year and we probably have excess capacity. As such, I feel that if we introduce a couple hundred hippos on campus, we could reduce that number. We would really end up with the cream of the crop in terms of students, as only the strongest and smartest will be left on a campus where you have to dodge hippos to get to your speech class. Imagine the emotion. It would definitely make my day a little more exciting.

Jack Scott: Ferrets

The ferrets around campus would be entertaining as hell. They’d be doing snake things, and they’re cuter than squirrels, IMO. They are like the dachshunds of rodents, and everyone likes dachshunds.

Gracie Mullan: Gorillas

I feel like bouncers walking around campus would be cool. If someone creepy was following you, you could lead the person to a gorilla and hopefully he would beat him up. I think there would be a lot of clashes between humans and monkeys.

Anna Wiggins: Rats

I may be in the minority here, but I think rats are cute.

Now, would I like to find one in my apartment? No no thanks. However, seeing them romp on the way to my class? Yes please. In fact, I think I’d drop to my knees and scream.

Imagine a bunch of fat fluffy rats hopping around Pattee Mall in the winter. Imagine a pack of rats patrolling the grounds on a warm day.

Also, you can pretend that you are a French medieval peasant with a laundry basket on your hip and that medieval Paris (aka Happy Valley) is infested with rats because you live during the Black Death.

Dana Nunemacher: Cows

As a Farmers High School, it seems only fitting that we need more cows on campus. Having a bad day? Imagine finding a little cow on campus to pet. Even if you’re having a good day, you can celebrate with one of the tiny moos. These are the tiny therapy animals we need. Also, with the cow population increasing so much, the dairy can expect milk production to skyrocket.

Onward State Student Staff Publications.