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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Resident decisions from CANOE house cause campus-wide upset

On Apr. 8, interest houses across campus sent out emails accepting, waitlisting and rejecting prospective residents for the 2024-2025 academic year. This is a moment students across campus wait for, breath held, for weeks. For some, it presents an opportunity to live with a good friend, or have access to a kitchen. For others, the stakes are as high as a house or a cramped Musser room. This year, two applicants in particular faced a far more extreme version of this: a place in The Carleton Association of Nature and Outdoor Enthusiasts (CANOE) house, or a sentence to live in cold, unreachable branches all of next year. That’s right; for the first time (and following the recent addition of the role ‘DEI coordinator’ to their board), CANOE House extended their applicant requirements to allow non-human applicants. This decision was made with two particular applicants in mind: the campus-famous albino squirrels. These squirrels have been petitioning for this change for years, and it was only a matter of time, in the opinion of many residents.

However, while the application process was smooth, the results were less than ideal. In a shocking twist of fate, the two squirrels, who had similar outdoor experiences and had applied as roommates, did not receive the same decision. While the squirrel colloquially known as “the albino squirrel” was offered a kitchen cabinet single, “the other albino squirrel” was not so warmly welcomed. In an exclusive interview, “The other albino squirrel” shared that he feels “everyone on campus has no idea who I am. When they see me, they go ‘Oh! The albino squirrel.’ Sometimes I wonder — am I far enough in his shadow that people don’t even realize I exist?”

An anonymous representative for CANOE House offered profuse apologies, stating that “unfortunately, all the other cabinets are already in use this year. One of the returning residents has an incredibly extensive collection of dining hall mugs, and they have real sentimental value. Any rejected squirrels are welcome to hang out on the porch during the day, but once you start staying overnight, your name has to be added to the chore whiteboard. And honestly, the whiteboard isn’t big enough for that squirrel’s name.” The representative also said that they wished only the best for “the other albino squirrel,” and hoped their decision had not added to the tension between the two. 

Finally, the original “the albino squirrel” had a few things to say. He revealed that the two had never truly gotten along, and he had repeatedly felt unsafe around “the other albino squirrel.” He said, “I think he encourages people to mistake him for me. I mean, he never corrects them when they do. When it comes to the rejection, I do feel bad for him, but it’s his own fault. He doesn’t stick out enough as a candidate. When it’s cold out, he’ll stand by the snow, instead of finding a patch of grass and creating contrast. He’s practically indistinguishable.” The albino squirrel reported that he was looking forward to this new era of his life — “Not only do I already have a perfect desk for the wood stain of that cabinet, but I’ve been burying hazelnuts under CANOE house for years and just totally forgetting them. But now I’ll have consistent access. It sucks that I still have to be on a meal plan, though.”

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