Skunks Will Be Enacted After Pups in Library Successful During Finals Week

This piece is from the April 1 issue, our April Fool’s Day edition of the newspaper: The Fun Star.  It is intended as satire and not meant to be taken seriously.  All information and quotes were made up.

 

Kaz Alvarez/Fun Star Reporter

April 1, 2014

Skunks and porcupines will be released into the Pub during finals week to chase students back to their books so they can focus on finishing their degree within four years.

Chris Eagles and Sean Dowgray, first year graduate students in the Masters of Fine Arts program, on the receiving end of a test skunk.

Chris Eagles and Sean Dowgray, first year graduate students in the Masters of Fine Arts program, on the receiving end of a test skunk.

Officials with the University of Alaska’s Stay On Track campaign decided to implement a program similar in concept to what Companions, Inc. provides but opposite in impact. The intention is to motivate students to study by making distracting environments unbearable, starting with the Pub. Formally titled “The Stank Out,” the program will begin the evening of Friday, May 2.

Companions, Inc. has experienced success and popularity during the last year and a half by providing adorable pets for students to snuggle in the comfort of the Rasmuson library. Dogs, were brought on campus to aid students in relieving stress and motivating them to do well on their finals. The pets have even been present to console students after particularly painful exams.

“The dogs in the library are nice, but I don’t study there,” said Nathan Quillian, a super senior in Biochemistry. “I hang out in the Pub. I just can’t focus on school during finals.”

The Stank Out will only bring in wild skunks and porcupines rather than the domesticated house pets from previous programs. Though Companions, Inc. does not work with wild forest animals, they will be working with the Department of Fish and Game to bring the creatures in.

“If students expect to finish their degree on time, they need to remain focused on their academic work,” said Academic Adviser Amy Flunkery. “This means staying away from places like the UAF Pub. Really, we are focusing on the minorities now since our other campaigns have been so successful. The pub is sparsely populated during finals but we are trying to reach out to UAF’s super seniors.”

Students will not be actively banned from the Pub during finals, but the environment will be made uncomfortable for that week. The foldable wall will be closed to separate the extra seating area from the main portion of the Pub. The skunks and porcupines will be free to do their work in the main area, with the exception of the actual bar where gates will be installed to block their access.

“I wasn’t convinced at first that this was a good idea, but Amy made a convincing arguement.” said Donald Crocker, the pub manager. “Eventually, it was clear that this was happening, so I set up a token system for students.”

Many professors will be giving students confirmation slips after each final. Students needing that celebratory beer, cider or glass of wine after finals can arrive armed with those confirmation slips to receive access to the back area of the Pub. A Pub bartender will escort them safely to the sealed area where they can partake in their libations.

“We had a hard time convincing professors to agree to the slips,” Crocker said. “There are still quite a few who will not be providing any slips, but we made them pretty easy to forge.”

Students without slips can brave the critters in the main area of the Pub but will not be provided any protective gear or tomato sauce for the quills and stench.

“I’ve already got a list of supplies to get for finals week,” Quillian said. “I was going to get note cards but, after I buy the hockey gear, nerf gun and tomato sauce, I won’t be able to afford them.”

Many students and Pub staff have expressed concern over the safety of the establishment. Suggestions have been made to remove all of the art and cover the floors.

“We are not sure yet how we will protect the Pub itself against the animals,” Crocker said. “Trash bags on the floor was considered, but these guys have sharp claws. We’re still working out our plan.”

Students can expect a new fee on their bill during the next academic year to accommodate potential repairs to the Pub as a result of this program.

“If any improvement in final grades is seen, this program may continue,” Flunkery said, adding that she and her colleagues will be making observations based on the success of all students at UAF.

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