On May 18, a series of holes strewn about around one of the trees on the Quad at Kalamazoo College were discovered. Within the holes, Phil O. Upton, a staff member of Kalamazoo College Facilities Management, found approximately one thousand sets of keys.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw them all,” Upton said. “After I happened upon the first hole I decided to investigate more. There were spots on the lawn around the tree that were a slightly different green and that’s where the other holes were. In all there were eight holes.”
As a collaborative effort, after the keys were discovered, between the administration and the biology department, it is speculated that this had been the work of a group of fox squirrels. These squirrels are known to group together in gangs and bury their findings in multiple places. After several tests, it is believed that some of the keys date back to five years before.
Upton believes that some of the keys could be even be for some of the halls on campus like Dewing and Olds Upton.
“I noticed that the key set I have for the buildings on campus match a set that I pulled from the hole,” Upton continued. “And I do seem to remember the College misplacing a set of keys. I wonder if these are the ones they were missing.”
After multiple tests and the subsequent sterilization of the keys, the administration emailed the student body to enlighten them on the situation and asked that they come claim their keys. Calling the event “The Gathering of the Keys,” the administration held it in the Olmsted room on May 26, where students were able to sort through the piles of keys.
At the event, students were appalled to find that their keys had been in the Quad the whole time and worry that the group of fox squirrels that stole them won’t stop their criminal activity.
Betty Dow, K’17 explained that she had lost her keys her first year at K. “We’ve known that the squirrels here on campus have been a problem for a while. Now it’s a matter of crime and it’s time that something was done to stop it,” Dow said.