The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Sutherland basement reopening for cat sanctuary

Villa: ‘I realized UWEC students would rather room with cats than other students, so I took action’
Sutherland basement reopening for cat sanctuary

Editor’s Note: This is a satirical article and is not meant to be taken seriously. It does not reflect the opinions of The Spectator or UW-Eau Claire.

In a statement made to The Spectator on Tuesday, Sutherland Hall Director Morrigan Villa unveiled his plan to renovate the basement to house stray cats in the fall. 

The project includes drilling out flaps in the dorm doors in order to allow easy entrance for the new tenets, litter boxes installed in each room and ridiculously high shelves so approaching humans can be scouted out. 

“The building is 60 years old and was going to be renovated anyway, so I had an idea”, Villa said.

Villa had spotted several stray cats roaming the streets of Eau Claire and wanted to do something to help. So he reached out to the associate director of housing, and feline expert, Deborah Newman.

“I was 100% on board,” Newman said. “Honesty, the students kinda get on my nerves.”

In addition to her duties on campus, Newman also fosters cats. She too has expressed interest in starting a sanctuary in her office, so she was delighted by this opportunity. 

“My three cats were lonely and these ones needed a home,” Villa added. “The students will understand.”

Sutherland Hall director Morrigan Villa and his furry friends. (Photo from Morrigan Villa)

This comes after a year plagued by what many students have coined as a “less than ideal” and “slightly anger-inducing” returning student housing selection process for the 2024-2025 academic year. 

“It all happened so fast before I knew it all the good dorms were full,” Katie McGoober, a first-year basket-weaving student, said.

McGoober had a low lottery number for the selection process, and couldn’t get the dorm she and her friends were hoping for.

“I was so upset,”  Megan Greenthumb said, one of the aforementioned friends, who was in the midst of her “Appreciation of Shrubbery” final when we spoke to her. “How hard is it for the four of us to get single, substance and smoke-free, corner, main floor rooms next to each other?”

The pair and their two other friends had to reluctantly settle for an apartment at Haymarket Landing.

“I was disappointed with the selection process this year,” Timothy Goldenboy, recently appointed Sutherland Hall resident assistant, said. “Honestly, I think the university should be doing more to support their student living.” 

In response to these complaints, the University released a statement apologizing for the process, claiming that they assumed the new science building would be done by the time they reinstated the ‘two-year on campus’ policy. And that all the science majors were so busy that they’d probably just end up sleeping there anyway.

“They’re smart, they can figure it out,” the statement read, adding “The cat thing’s pretty cool though.”

When asked if he expected backlash to this decision, Villa was adamant that he’d considered what was best for the residents.

“I talked with my hall council for a full afternoon before approaching Deb with this idea,” Villa said. “And together we decided this was the right course of action.”

There is reason to believe that most of the current Sutherland Hall Council is made up of formally stray felines, due to our request for comments via email returned with a shopping list consisting of cat treats and Meow Mix.

“Seymour McFluffykins III was very persuasive. We’ve become good friends after running into each other on Water Street first semester,” Villa added. “I trust his judgment completely”

When asked whether or not Mr. McFluffykins was a student, Villa replied “Of course, what else would he be?” 

University records could not confirm the existence of ‘Seymour McFluffykins’ enrolled at UW-Eau Claire.

The Sutherland Basement is rumored to have now been rebranded officially as “Meow Meow Land” for the foreseeable future.

Heidtke can occasionally be reached at [email protected]

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