The Squirrel Club: Strange Facts About Some of America’s Top Schools

Here at the Louisville Tutoring Agency, our job is to help students acquire the skills they need to excel academically. A serious mission, indeed, but that doesn’t mean we don’t laugh from time to time. We recently came across some little-known, sometimes downright peculiar facts about a few of America’s top schools that are sure to make you smile.

Odd School Traditions

Squirrels who live on the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor campus certainly have it made. Every Sunday afternoon, the squirrels are treated to a peanut feast, provided by members of the popular campus Squirrel Club. Founded in 2002 by squirrel lovers Jason Colman and Justin Hyatt, the Squirrel Club now boasts over 400 members and is dedicated to the welfare and feeding of campus squirrels.

Carleton College, the school famous for its Primal Scream ritual, is also the home of the lesser-known Silent Dance Party tradition. Students download the same music play list on a portable music device, meet at the library, put on their headphones and dance to the music only they hear. Held on one of two designated reading days each semester, silent dancers leave the library and continue dancing throughout the campus.

The Happiness Club at Northwestern University is devoted to, as its name suggests, increasing the happiness of the campus community. Club members offer hot chocolate, lemonade, smiley face stickers and comforting hugs to those in need.

The Strangest Classes

Indiana’s Vincennes University is the oldest public educational institution in the state. It’s also the only accredited college that offers a degree in Bowling Industry Management and Technology. Students get hands-on experience at the on-site bowling center lab.

In an effort to interest more students in philosophy, Georgetown University came up with the always popular “Philosophy and Star Trek” class. Philosophical topics include human free will, time travel and brain and body connections.

Puzzling College Mascots

UC Santa Cruz is an NCAA Division III member in five sports. What, you may ask, is the UC Santa Cruz team mascot? A banana slug named Sammy. That’s right, a banana slug. Banana slugs are mollusks that naturally reside on the floor of the Redwood Forest. Sammy the Slug’s official rank as school mascot began in 1986, but he was the unofficial mascot for many years before. He survived a chancellor’s ousting attempt in 1980 when the student body refused to accept the newly appointed sea lion mascot.

No one remembers why, but the mascot of North Carolina’s Campbell University is Gaylord the Camel. The school teams are the Fighting Camels and Lady Camels. Campbell University is the only school in the United States with a camel mascot.

Just because a school is well known doesn’t mean it’s not weird. Think about Ohio State University’s team name, the Buckeyes, and mascot, Brutus Buckeye. Buckeyes are nuts. They grow in trees. Or, how about the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers? Gophers aren’t the most intimidating of creatures. The mascot, Goldy Gopher, with his smile and buckteeth, doesn’t exactly instill terror, either.