SOBS or So BS?

How Syracuse's popular black squirrels inspired us to create a fictitious student organization. Oh, yeah. And April Fool's played a part, too.

On April 1, The NewsHouse broke the story about a student organization that evolved over a common cause: saving our black squirrels, SOBS. Or when you really break it down, So BS.

Yes. That's right. We got you! 

We may have had you believing that the curiously cute, and kind of rare, acorn-loving creatures were becoming endangered. The idea was a collaborative effort amongst all of the lead producers here at The NewsHouse.

Initially, we played around with several ideas. We talked about breaking a story about Castle Court officially being reopened. In the heart of the bitterly cold February, we discussed publishing a story that Chancellor Kent Syverud canceling classes because it was too hot. (Not so funny, but we were delirious with the winter freeze!) But then, we turned to the cute little guys scampering around campus: the black squirrels.

We settled on the idea of saving the black squirrel and we decided we really needed to commit. We had to make this somewhat believable in order to get a few of you wanting to join the SOBS fight. 

Our social media leads, Melissa Menefe and Louise Chouinard, made official Twitter and Facebook accounts and began following other like-minded organizations like the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund.

Off Campus lead producer Irfan Uraizee used his tech-savvy skills to build a super creative map that illustrated the dwindling black squirrel populations throughout the nation. Irfan even created a nifty map that pinpointed the "black squirrel danger zones" around Syracuse. Genius. 

MacKenzie Dunsmoor joined in by crafting the cute and sleek logo for SOBS, and by April 1, The NewsHouse was ready to roll out our special story.

The day of the jinx, Louise and Melissa were tweeting and updating from both SOBS and The NewsHouse, to add to the believability of course.

Some of our favorites:

And from our readers, your comments were appreciated!

While we kind of wish this was a real organization, (because who doesn't love the black squirrel?) sadly, it was just some nutty web producers trying to play a little trick for April Fools' Day. We hope you had a laugh as well!

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