Queen’s College students have decided to break the tortoise trend, voting instead to have a ‘degu’ as their JCR pet in their meeting this weekend.
The decision followed an executive motion put forward by JCR President Sean Robinson to get a college pet. This led to a pet selection at the following JCR meeting, where the degu beat out other possible animals to win the hustings with a 50 percent majority.
Queen’s JCR Vice President James Dinsdale said “Rob Branigan put forward the case for the degu, noting their friendly nature, how easy they are to care for and clean up after as well as the very popular point that they sleep in piles, which is adorable. Check it out on google.”
Options discussed by the twenty people at the meeting included the ‘conventional’ tortoise, a degu, chickens, a gecko, a cat, an eagle, a parrot, or (if college officials would not allow the JCR to have a pet at all) pet adoption.
The Vice President went on to explain the hustings: “Tortoises were eliminated, as they had already been done and were hard to care for, along with the gecko, which was expensive and eats live locusts which is a bit gross, cats because people get sneezy, eagles due to the logistics and that the two candidates for taking care of the pet weren’t too keen on feeding it dead baby chickens, and parrots as students were not happy with caged birds, whilst a free bird could be complicated… so in ‘degu versus chickens’, the cuddly little degu came out on top.”
Although the motion has been passed, the future of a furry friend for the JCR remains uncertain as getting a degu would mean first gaining college officials’ permission. Queen’s College offered no comments on the matter.
A second year Queen’s Law student described the degu as “a cross between a chinchilla and a mouse” and went on to say: “I don’t really mind what species pet we have at Queen’s – I’m more interested in the naming part.” Whilst a second year Queen’s Biology student remarked: “They are social creatures so we’re aiming to get four and they make very good pets due to being active in the day and taking to new people well … at the meeting everyone seemed very enthusiastic, even those like myself who voted for one of the others… Now I’m very happy with the degus, which I’d say is really no more unconventional than a hamster and makes a better pet.”
If obtained, the degu will join a long list of college pets, including the racing tortoises such as Corpus Christi’s Bishop Fox and University College’s Percy.
Pullquote: At the meeting, the degu won the hustings with a fifty per cent majority.