Students voted last week to pass a referendum that would allocate funding to rebuild the dilapidated, yet inviting Student Union Building into a petting zoo.
In a vote of 1,200 to 1,000, a majority of students voted “yes” in response to the question “Do you think the Student Union Building should be rebuilt such that students may frequently come into close proximity and/or physical contact with farm animals? There will also be cats and dogs.”
The campaigns for and against the referendum were both passionate and noticeable around campus. Advocates for the petting zoo garnered support by hosting a fake therapy dog event in the Student Union Ballroom, in which they teased students with cute puppies and strictly prohibited any petting whatsoever.
“That was the most frustrating experience of my life,” said Lindsey Powell, a sophomore biochem major who got denied when she tried to scratch a pupper behind the ear. “I absolutely voted for the petting zoo, and when they finish building it, I’m gonna pet that fucking puppy on his head.”
The alternative to the petting zoo plan would have meant that student businesses and offices could keep using the space for their daily operations. Unfortunately, the petting zoo will permanently displace the Bike Co-Op, People’s Market, Earthfoods Cafe and every RSO office in the building.
“This essentially means the demise of several student businesses,” said Hailey Burke, one of the co-managers at People’s Market. “I’m gonna miss working here, but I think it’ll be worth it when I can shove my fingers into the dense, wooly coat of a sheep in between my 10 a.m. psych lecture and my 1 p.m. English class.”
The petting zoo animals will be locally sourced, and there will be a space provided in the basement for breeding hybrid forms of some animals. UMass biology faculty have already gotten involved with some aspects of the program.
“We’re working on surgical technology that would allow us to make shit like chicken-cows, which are literally a combination of those two animals and can fit in your lap,” said Dr. Adam Leighton, a tenured biology professor. Some other hybrids include ligers, dog-pigs, and even experimental combinations of Sam the Minuteman and various waterfowl.
The petting zoo will cost slightly more than a new Student Union Building would have cost. At $5 million, the project will make the petting zoo the most irresponsible allocation of increased tuition in the history of the world. But there will be baby llamas.
Oh hey, listen and subscribe to Booze Before Noon: