By: Malcolm Kelner
Midway through winter break, the Emerson College Dining Hall rats are enjoying some much-needed time off. Just like the students, faculty, and facilities workers on campus, the rats are taking advantage of the lengthy recess to spend time with their families and recharge for what’s sure to be a busy second semester.
“First semester was pretty hectic, there’s no doubt about that,” squeaked Rafael Merino, who has bunked behind the back room television for the past three years with his wife Linda and 17 children. “It’s nice to get some R&R before the everyday grind starts again after MLK [Martin Luther King] Day.”
“Not to mention it’s a lot quieter around here without all these hipsters analyzing indie films and the TV blasting ESPN to the occasional sports bro but usually nobody who’s actually watching.”
While many of the rats are choosing to stay put in their comfortable Dining Hall homes during the break, others have temporarily ditched the snowy New England winter for the balmy South. Jimmy Carmichael (pictured above), a newer resident to the dining hall, decided to spend his break surfing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love the living and job opportunities that Boston and Emerson have provided me, but the weather can wear you down sometimes.”
It has, without a doubt, been a rollercoaster ride the last couple years for Carmichael and the rest of Emerson’s rats. Growing discrimination and xenophobic calls for removal from the student body have greatly affected the collective psyche of the rodent community. Through it all, the young rat is staying positive.
“There was a lot of concern when Emerson didn’t renew its contract with Aramark after the 2012-13 school year,” squealed Carmichael. “Aramark was a strident advocate of our rights to live, multiply, and flourish in the Dining Hall.”
“Luckily, Sodexo has been just as supportive to us. A lot of good people in that company.”