UCLA students were recently surprised to find a tombstone and flowers next to a dead squirrel located at the stairs between De Neve Dogwood and Evergreen. This heartfelt tribute to a fallen friend stirred the hearts of many Bruins. But one group of students decided that a makeshift memorial wasn’t enough — they had to take squirrel safety into their own hands.
The newly-formed Acorn Care Advocates are determined to make UCLA a place where squirrels can live without fear. Rajesh Kaur, the founder and president of the club, sat down with The Black Sheep to share his thoughts behind it.
“I’ve always been an animal lover,” Rajesh said. “And squirrels are probably my favorite animal. They’re brown, furry, and cute — just like me! So when I saw that deceased squirrel at De Neve, I knew I had to do something. That’s why I started this club.”
According to Rajesh, it was easy to find other like-minded students. “There was a post on the meme page about the funeral, so I left a comment telling others to message me if they wanted to save our squirrels. I realize now that I was basically asking people to contact a stranger on the internet for some vague cause, but it worked!”
Sofia Fernandez, the current vice-president of the club, was one of the first to respond. “I feel so sad when any of God’s creatures die,” she said. “Well, except the ones that taste good. Like chickens, for example. How could I say no to Late Night chicken tenders?”
“But squirrels aren’t meant to be eaten,” Sofia continued, shaking her head. “They’re meant to be adorable little companions that make our long days a little better. And that’s why they need our rescuing.”
Other members of the Acorn Care Advocates were equally enthusiastic. “It’s just good to be a part of something,” Monica Trent, the treasurer of the club, admitted. “I honestly love it when our GroupMe gets flooded with messages. Normally, the only messages I get are Bruin Alerts, so this is a nice change.”
“I gave myself the role of detective,” said Chet Ebenezer. “Rajesh and Sofia asked me to just be a normal member, but I knew we needed to find out the truth. Did our squirrel die of natural causes? Or was it foul play? Did another squirrel want him out of the picture? Who knows. I mean, I’ll know. Soon enough. Because I’m the detective.”
While the members of the group have embraced their cause, other students are less convinced. “Their slogan is ‘Squirrel Lives Matter’,” said Darryl Dickson, shaking his head. “You don’t even have to be black to see why that’s offensive.”
“I’m so annoyed at the name they chose,” explained Geraldine Low, a member of the Association of Chinese Americans. “They call themselves the ACA on the flyers they hand out. They can’t steal our acronym, we were here first! We have our own t-shirts and everything!”
“I just think there are bigger problems at our school,” admitted an exasperated Johnny Nash. “Like the Hedrick Hall elevators that keep breaking down. I would kill ten squirrels myself just to have those fixed!”
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