Q&A with viral Facebook page USC Squirrels
Since launching Tuesday at 9:24 p.m., one Facebook page has already gained an impressive 3,600 likes with its glamour shots of the real stars of the University Park Campus’ immaculately manicured foliage: the squirrels.
USC Squirrels’ witty biographies and expertly curated photos come from one student who asked to remain anonymous. The Daily Trojan interviewed this chronicler of the cute rodents that frequent campus.
Daily Trojan: Where did the idea to catalog the life of squirrels come from?
USC Squirrels: We’ve seen pictures of squirrels on a lot of people’s Facebooks. Squirrels are a big part of the USC community but not a lot of people think about them — though if they disappeared, I’m sure people would notice.
This idea came from talking to friends — I’m not going to lie, I had some wine — and then I said, it would be a great idea for people to post their squirrel pictures. After I made it, I complained that there were no likes and my friend liked it, and then more, and it just grew from there.
Now we have over 100 pictures in our inbox and 3,000 likes and it all happened very suddenly.
DT: Do some pictures just pop out at you?
Squirrels: When squirrels are doing more than just sitting or they have something in their hands, it stands out to me. There’s stuff we don’t include — if it’s too similar to one we’ve already written or it’s inappropriate or blurry.
I want it to become a lot more USC community-oriented and be about things people can relate to, so I included a post about the Trojan Marching Band. I’m hoping that maybe we can do something about Troy Camp or Helenes or whoever to let people know about what’s going on.
DT: How long does it take to compose the biography of a squirrel?
Squirrels: Once I find a picture I like, it only takes about five or 10 minutes. Some of my friends have done a few, but I’ve done most of them myself. We ask people to submit stories, but we haven’t posted a [submitted] story yet. It’s all been us.
DT: What’s your creative process like?
Squirrels: I’ve named some of the squirrels after my good friends, to be honest. There’s one squirrel named after my best friend, and the squirrel has the same personality traits. One of my best friends is obsessed with Pizza Studio, one of my best friends is obsessed with Nutella and one of my friends is going to Coachella with me this weekend.
DT: The writing is pretty entertaining. Are any of you guys creative writing majors or something like that?
Squirrels: No, our majors are the opposite of writing.
DT: Are there any squirrels we’ll hear about soon?
Squirrels: I really need someone to send in a picture of three squirrels so we can have a parody of Mean Girls that is Mean Squirrels. We’ll try to keep it topical — like writing about Coachella.
DT: Why do you think this has spread so quickly? It seems to have grown faster than USC Compliments or USC Memes did.
Squirrels: It’s something that everyone can enjoy. If you’re reading USC Compliments and there are no compliments addressed to you or you don’t know any of the people, it’s a nice thing but it’s not very exciting. USC Squirrels just has something everyone can related to.
We’ve gotten almost as many messages of people saying how much they like us as we have [messages with] pictures of squirrels. There’s one girl who said, “I don’t go to your school, and I don’t even live in your country, but my friend goes to your school and this is the best page I’ve ever seen.”