As a writer for the school newspaper at a small liberal arts college in Ohio, choosing topics that directly affect the students is one of the most challenging tasks I face every month. Rarely does a school get hit head on (pun intended) with a story so compelling that a writer can’t help but share. Last month, that is exactly what happened at the Mount.
By now, I’m sure you have heard that a deer recently broke through a window in the quad and found itself inside the Seton Center at Mount Saint Joseph University. While experts would claim that it is not uncommon for deer to see its reflection in a window and charge, what might be surprising is how long the deer was trapped inside the Seton Center before finding its way out. I recently got to hear the story told firsthand from two key witnesses, Kenny Mitchell and Sean Stewart.
The two men remember playing pool in the Lion’s Den with their friends Paul Tepe and Alex Ceddia, when they heard complete chaos coming from the staircase that leads into the basement of the Seton Center. Originally neither of them knew what was happening and as Stewart told me, “We originally thought there was a fight or something going on. We didn’t know if there was a school shooter or what. That’s when we saw the deer run out of the market (a store next to the Lion’s Den).”
Upon seeing the deer, Mitchell recalls, “We didn’t really know what to think, it’s just there. Out of everything we thought it could have been, it wasn’t any of them.” The four friends spent the next few moments in search of a place to hide from the deer.
The next thing he knew, Mitchell was being chased down the hall by a full grown deer. While everything happened entirely too fast to recall exactly what led to that point, based on the security camera footage, Mitchell’s adrenaline kicked in and he ran for his life. The chase ended with Mitchell being tackled by the deer, just after making it out of the building. Even though the lasting damages could have been much worse, he was not seriously injured during this altercation, except for a minor concussion, many scrapes, and bruises.
During the attack, a portion of the deer’s antler broke off in Mitchell’s sweatshirt. When asked what he plans on doing with this unique souvenir, he responded, “I’m either making a necklace out of it or hanging it up”. He is currently leaning towards hanging it somewhere, but regardless of where this memento ends up, it will be the topic of conversation for years to come.
Although none of the witnesses know who is behind it, the deer has made an immediate social media presence, with the Twitter name, “MSJ Deer.”
Mitchell recalls, “Somebody started it and just started tweeting at me, but I still don’t know who it was.” Mitchell and Stewart have been asking around but haven’t been able to identify the culprit of the deer’s social media activity. Regardless, it seems that this mystery has added to the legacy of the deer.
Mitchell and Stewart agree that no one at the Mount will ever forget the unique circumstance of a fellow student being attacked by a deer in the basement of the residence hall but, Steward adds, “I don’t know which legacy will last longer- The deer break-in or Kenny surviving the deer attack.” While it certainly isn’t ideal, Mitchell has accepted the reality that he will always be known as the guy who got attacked by the deer.