By Michevi Dufflart, Staff Writer
Manhattan College is home to a number of students from many locations, but it is also home to a number of small furry creatures. Well known for their ubiquitous presence on campus, squirrels have attracted the attention of students and faculty members alike.
Last semester, campus squirrels inspired the creation of mc_squirrels, a student run Instagram account with nearly 1,500 followers. However now, with the current semester in full swing, a different account has been featuring a new squirrel on campus.
The new squirrel, a plush gray one with a Manhattan College bandana, has been featured in several of manhattanedu’s most recent posts on Instagram, which had many students questioning if mc_squirrels and manhattanedu were collaborating to create these posts. The Quadrangle turned to the owner of mc_squirrels and the creator of the new squirrel posts on manhattanedu, Kristen Cuppek, the director of publications and editorial services in the Marketing & Communication Office for answers.
Cuppek, who is credited with the idea of including the plush squirrel in the posts, said she thought the squirrel would be, “a fun way to highlight the first week of class through the eyes of a campus squirrel.”
The posts, which began promptly on the first day of classes, feature the squirrel in multiple locations across MC such as a classroom, Locke’s Loft, the Quad, O’Malley Library, the Mural under Founder’s Bridge, the I.D. Office and the bookstore, where plush squirrels like the one featured in these posts, are now being sold.
When asked what kind of feedback the posts were receiving, Cuppek responded saying the feedback has been good, “The first post even received more than 600 likes. We’ve been getting nice comments, such as “Love Manhattan and the Bronx squirrels” and “This series is my favorite thing.” And, of course, we’ve received some funny comments, like one asking how to transfer to MC because the squirrel looks so happy.”
However, although manhattanedu has received mostly positive feedback, some students still enjoy the content of mc_squirrels more. One such student is sophomore Adam Granger who says that he prefers mc_squirrels posts because he likes seeing the real squirrels found on campus. Additionally, like most of us, he’s interested in the knowing the relationship between the two accounts.
In response to whether manhattanedu has collaborated with mc_squirrels, Cuppek said, “No, we didn’t collaborate with the mc squirrels Instagram account.” However, she noted that manhattanedu has tagged mc_squirrels in most of the posts.
Similarly, the owner of mc_squirrels responded saying, “Contrary to popular belief, mc_squirrels has not participated in any collaboration with members of the school’s marketing team,” adding that the plush squirrel posts on manhattanedu came as a surprise to them as well.
Mc_squirrels owner also shares that while originally they accepted manhattanedu’s posts of the plush squirrel, after learning about their intent to sell the squirrels in the campus bookstore they said, “We feel [like] the school is capitalizing on our idea and confusing our audience.” The owner of mc_squirrels said they proposed the option of having the plush squirrel’s profits go to a local charitable organization, but MC’s confirmation to this has yet to be received in writing.
As a final note, the owner of mc_squirrels encourages all MC students to continue submitting squirrel pictures so they can continue to be “a nutty force on campus.” They also wish to inform students that any important updates will be posted on the mc_squirrels account. As for manhattanedu and their plush squirrel, Cuppek says they have plans for the squirrel, but that students will just have to wait and see what the future holds.