Dear Obies: Please Stop Stalking Me


Abe Frato, Photo Editor

Editor’s note: Unfortunately, due to a lack of squirrel-sized laptops, the white squirrel could not write a piece on their own. Thankfully, our extremely talented and brilliant Opinions editor, Emma Benardete, stepped in to help.

My many times great-grandparents first moved to Oberlin in 1970 after their old home, a nice red oak in a human family’s backyard, was demolished so the humans could build a new garage. The premiere real estate agent in Lorain County at the time, a very kind but ancient chipmunk, convinced them that a college campus would be a nice place to live. Students would feed them, the College would be less likely to demolish a tree spontaneously than were other property owners, and college-aged people were less likely to torment them than were small children. There was a tree for sale in the middle of a green expanse called Tappan Square, which was supposedly a mostly secluded place to live, save for the few students doing homework outdoors on particularly nice weekends. They bought the tree, and my family has lived here ever since.

In the time since then, we have found the College’s students to be significantly more irritating than we initially thought. Apparently, white squirrels are quite uncommon, and it wasn’t long before all the Obies started realizing that we were right here in their backyard. They started coming to Tappan in droves specifically to see us, keeping track of how many times each one of them had seen a white squirrel, and taking photos of us at inopportune moments. I won’t give details, but there are some rumors going around of a rather… suggestive photo that was taken exactly 44 days before my dad was born.

We did not appreciate the unwanted attention, but we were willing to put up with it until 2011, when things started getting out of hand. The College started making stress toys in our image branded with their logo. Shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and mugs started appearing. A book was published by a former president of the College about a white squirrel who struggles at hide and seek because he is conspicuous, a major insult to my brilliant camouflaging skills. A comic has made its way onto the internet saying Oberlin students can relate to us because of our being “scrawny.” 

In 2014, the Athletics department decided that it was no longer happy with just the Yeomen and decided to add a second mascot of — you guessed it — a white squirrel. In 2019, the students finally voted on a name for this monstrosity of a character. Between options like “Albie,” “Stevie,” and “Macademia” — I am not certain whether that was a typo or a sorry attempt at a portmanteau of “Macadamia” and “Academia” — it was decided the mascot would be named “Yeobie.” Since then, everyone has insisted upon calling me Yeobie. My name is not Yeobie. My name is Frederick. Please stop calling me Yeobie. 

The final straw came when the College started getting people to dress up as the mascot. According to the College website, Yeobie is 7’10 and weighs 285 pounds. How would you feel if someone over 200 times your size, whom you had never met, was walking around campus dressed as a creepy version of you? I cannot imagine you would be too pleased. 

It is important to note that this was all done without my family’s consent. At the very least, I would have expected that we would be asked for permission and paid a reasonable royalty. We bring in thousands of dollars in revenue to the College each year, and it is only fair we be compensated adequately. Gone are the days of accepting the acorns that drop from the trees as our only payment. We want pistachios. 

As such, I demand that the College halt all production and sale of white squirrel merchandise and lock away the fur suit until we can convene and negotiate a mutually agreeable contract. Stop stalking us, stop photographing us, and stop trespassing in our backyard. Otherwise, you will most certainly be hearing from our lawyers.