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New Students’ Union veterinary medicine rep an actual armadillo named Sparkles

By Jill Girgulis, October 11 2016 —

The University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) finally has a representative on Students’ Legislative Council. The Students’ Union appointed the new faculty representative last week. The position has been vacant since former SU vet med rep Erik Burow stepped down last month.

“The students weren’t keen this year — no one was stepping up to fill the vacancy,” veterinary medicine associate dean Emma Read said. “So we decided in the spirit of veterinary medicine to consider more than just one species.”

What she is referring to, of course, is the three-banded armadillo Sparkles who was selected as Burow’s successor. The creature beat out three other candidates for the job.

“Vet med is supposed to be a collaborative environment, but for some reason this race got really intense once we opened it up to all the class animals,” Read said, shaking her head in disbelief.

Sparkles is the class animal for UCVM’s Class of 2020. Her main competition for the SU faculty rep position was the Class of 2019’s hummingbird Flutters and the current graduating class’s manatee BigBoii.

“Those has-beens didn’t stand a chance!” Sparkles adamantly snorted. “Can any of the other candidates roll into such cute, smooth ball like me? I don’t think so.”

Sparkles stood out last week during the candidates’ debate. She presented the argument that electing an animal to the SU would be the only way to eliminate discrimination once and for all.

“Thankfully, the U of C is one of the most progressive institutions around,” Sparkles said in the debate. “Including an armadillo on SLC is the next logical step towards worldwide acceptance and inclusion.”

Despite her enthusiasm, when asked how seriously she was planning to take her new faculty rep responsibilities, Sparkles had an unexpected response.

“I’m pregnant with identical quadruplets, so once those babies pop out I’ll just have them take turns attending the SLC meetings for me,” Sparkles said. “It’s not like the other reps will be able to tell the difference.”

However, some students are less enthusiastic about communicating to the SU through an armoured mammal.

“I have a few concerns,” first-year student Jesse Pawlak said, shaking his head in disbelief. “Sparkles is solitary and largely nocturnal, which I don’t think makes her a very good representative of students. To be fair, I’m trusting Wikipedia on this since we don’t know the first thing about armadillos.”

Sparkles will begin her six-month term as soon as she can get a ride to main campus from the Spyhill campus — it would be unrealistic to expect her to roll all the way there, obviously.

As her first objective as ved med representative, Sparkles aims to increase the accessibility of campus by adding animal flaps and free kibble stations at the entrance to each lecture theatre.


This article is part of our humour section.

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