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Grey squirrel eating an acorn near College Green at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Sept. 1, 2023.

Q&A with Steve the Squirrel

The Post: What is your favorite thing to do in Athens?

Steve the Squirrel: I’m really into nature, so the outdoors calls my name. There is nothing better than grabbing a drink from South Side Espresso Bar (with a sprinkle of nutmeg of course) and hanging out under some trees on College Green. When my favorite tree is not available, I do love setting up a hammock in Paw Print Park to watch the sunset near the Hocking River.

TP: What plans does Housing have for this year that you want to make sure first-year students are aware of? 

Steve: I got involved in Hall Council last year thanks to my Resident Adviser’s suggestion and it is one of the best leadership opportunities I have had. That experience is the reason I was elected as the president of my TOA, Tree Owners’ Association (this is a big deal in the squirrel housing community). I've had a great experience on Hall Council and encourage fellow Bobcats to check out opportunities like this one that can better connect students to each other and provide experiential learning experiences. But back to your question — there is a lot going on. From programs and large-scale events in your halls (or) on the greens, to Let’s Talk hours with our Counselors in Residence, to the 2024-25 room selection, there is no shortage of things happening. Because so much is going on, I suggest students check their Catmail frequently. Also, you should follow Housing and Residence Life on Twitter/X (OHIO_Housing), Facebook (OHIO Housing & Residence Life), or Instagram (ohio_housing) to not miss any of the need-to-know information or what fun events are coming up!

TP: What is your number one piece of advice for living in a dorm? 

Steve: I’ve been around these bricks for a while and it truly comes down to communication. Whether it is with your tree-mate, roommate, suitemate or neighbor, communicating is important so you can feel at home and connected to your new community. I know that it can make students (and well, me too) a little squirrely sometimes when conflict arises, but conflict is just an opportunity to learn something new.

TP: What dorm would you prefer to live in? 

Steve: I am a multi-generational Bobcat. Everyone from my great-great-great grand squirrel has been a Bobcat. My mom’s family always tells me West Green is the best green, and my dad and his family are equally split between East and South. For me, I think my favorite hall is currently Gamertsfelder Hall. With new cabinetry, windows, restrooms and HVAC system, it’s been fun to call this place home. Not to mention, the lobby space and study room allow for a great area to connect with my fellow squirrel friends and create a community. But we all know each experience is unique for each squirrel or student ... what we hear time and again from alumni near and far is that they tend to favor the green that was the first one they lived on.

TP: How would you recommend students resolve issues with their living situation? 

Steve: Well, it depends on what is happening. Last year, I had a light that was flickering in my nest, so I put in a work order and Facilities came and fixed that. This year I was struggling with how to best talk to my tree-mate about amending our roommate agreement, and I talked to my RA. They helped me talk through what frustrated me and the best approaches when sharing that with my roommate. Now I feel confident about how to positively address my concerns with them.

The main Housing and Residence Life Office has student leaders who work at the front desk called SSAs (Student Service Ambassadors). They are always helpful to talk to because not only do they know the resources and answers to your questions, but they are also students. So, they understand your question and perspective!

TP: Do you have any final thoughts you want to include? 

Steve: There are so many to list, but I think knowing the residence hall move-in, move-out out and break schedule will help students plan for trips home or when to stay on campus. This page is updated frequently and will provide everything on-campus students need to know about fall semester closing, spring break, winter break, spring move-in, etc.! Bookmark and share this webpage with your family, too.


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