The Manatee Manifesto

manatee-in-chiefHi there – I’m Manny the manatee! And I’m the Excrement’s new editor-in-chief.

When she needed someone to keep the ship running after embarking on a sudden and unexpected vacation, usual editor Nicole Duggan knew I was the right manatee to call. We met in the fall of 2012 swimming off the coast of Florida and immediately formed a bond over our shared love of bad puns, our vague distaste for motor boats and our rather large noses. Since then the foolish girl — I mean charming intellectual — and I have remained close.

At 12 feet long and 960 pounds, I knew I could fit into Montana culture well. Though I don’t care for mountains, snow, cold or a particularly active lifestyle, I saw the presence of vim, and what better place for a Very Important Manatee?

Since arriving, though, I’ve swam across some areas of MSU and Bozeman that could use serious revamping. Allow me to use my introductory column to name a few of my immediate and impending changes.

I would first and foremost like to clear up an absurd misconception that the world has about manatees. Often equated to the underwater version of a cow, manatees are thought to be docile creatures. We are not.

Anyway, here on campus, my initial plan of action was to convert the entire Excrement office into a large aquarium. I, of course, believe in a healthy and safe work environment, and therefore provided snorkeling gear for the entire staff. Though the move was met with some resistance at first, I quickly managed to make it clear that if they didn’t comply — I mean willingly participate — they’d quickly find themselves in hot water.

After finally settling into Nicole’s disorganized (and now submerged) desk, my next move was to appeal directly to the Provost’s office to institute a  marine biology major at MSU. How the college survived this long without one is beyond me. The new program will allow us to brainwash — I mean educate — students in a before unparalleled way at this institution.

The next step was equally as simple and rewarding. I demanded that all campus dining options be made vegetarian. To serve meat is an affront to all. And what better way to weaken — I mean invigorate — campus health.

The biggest issue I have faced has been finding a way to address the dreadful lack of diversity on campus. Though MSU boasts a wide array of diversity aimed events, there has been a stunning lack of programming for aquatic creatures. I immediately called up my buddies, and we staged several sit in (well, float in) events around campus. We are demanding at least 90 percent representation of aquatic creatures on campus. We do acknowledge that this will take substantial renovations and changes to the university’s strategic plan. However, if our demands are not met, we will be forced to take more drastic measures. Resistance is futile.

After we get deserved representation, the manatee kind will really have no further roadblocks to changing MSU’s name to Manatee State University and ruling supreme.