Joey Hart, Asst. Opinion Editor
Sean Ables, representative from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, stated in a press release Wednesday that Oxford locals and Miami students alike should watch for migrating herds of freshmen travelling Uptown.
Ables said that now is prime season for freshmen, who are also known by the Latin name "Firstus Yearus."
He explained that generally, this species can be seen in large flocks of 10 to 12 individuals, all of the same sex. These separate groups then comingle, in Uptown establishments where the courting ritual begins. Ables noted that with mating season right around the corner, more freshmen will be on the prowl, especially in the evening.
"We're just here to make sure that everyone understands all the facts about this often misunderstood beast," Ables explained. "They're just a part of our natural Butler County environment."
He stressed that one must exercise caution when confronted by a group.
"You never want to make any quick movements or loud noises," Ables said. "Always remember that these creatures are more afraid of you than you are of them, so scaring them even further is a sure way to get a reaction you might not want to see."
Not all inhabitants of Oxford see this annual phenomenon as threatening. Junior Courtney Mettowitz said that her experience with freshmen has been, for the most part, "fine."
"Yeah, I'm not sure what the big deal really is," Mettowitz said. "I see a lot of freshmen, Uptown and on campus, and they don't really do anything that's bad."
Mettowitz added that some freshmen are "even pretty good-looking."
Despite their often benign appearance, though, Ables warned not to get too comfortable.
"Often times these animals will wander up to parties, foraging for shelter or drink," he explained. "However, if you give them what they are looking for, they are only going to come back for more."
Ables elaborated that although they may look cute, "treating a freshman like a human being is a sure fire way to ruin any event."
"The Firstus Yearus is a natural part of our ecosystem, but we should make sure they stay that way," he said.