A Ransom Note Demands the Passage of a Senate Bill Stating That Cereal Is Not Soup, in Exchange for the Return of the Wally Wolf Costume
By Annaliese Grellmann
On March 29, the first day of spring quarter classes, a report was made to Campus Security that the Wally Wolf costume was stolen from the WEC. The burglar left a ransom note demanding that a bill be passed by the ASWWU Senate making an official statement that cereal is not soup, in exchange for the safe return of the mascot’s costume.
A custodial worker, whose identity shall remain anonymous for their protection, found the ransom note in a storage closet Monday morning when entering to look for trash bags. It is unknown how long the costume had been missing prior to the discovery of the ransom note since most students are unaware Walla Walla University has a mascot.
The report went public on March 30 at 11 a.m. in the daily WWU announcement email. In this Tuesday morning email, Courtney Bryant, head of campus security, was quoted saying, “This is a disturbing event concerning the security of our campus and the safety of our student body. Our whole department has prioritized the investigation.”
Over the past three days of investigation, all four security officers were able to piece together a couple of leads pointing towards the possible whereabouts of the Wally Wolf costume and identify one potential suspect.
First, a health pass from last quarter with the last name “Wolf” was found littered outside Sittner Hall. It is acknowledged that there is a student with the same last name, but since WWU has been a closed campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all visitors were required to receive a health pass before stepping foot on campus.
Since it is assumed that the burglar would not want to reveal their true identity, it is suspected that they gave the health screeners a pseudonym. The date on the health pass could point to the day the crime took place.
The second lead came from the campus security database, in which it was documented that last quarter security gave a parking ticket to an unregistered car parked on the curb outside Conard Hall. Since all students are required to register their cars at the beginning of the school year, this could be the car of the burglar.
Campus security is still trying to identify which car is most likely to belong to the burglar, as campus security gave 382 tickets to unregistered cars last quarter. When the burglar comes in to pay the ticket, campus security hopes to be able to identify them.
Both leads point to the burglar coming from outside of campus, but, alternatively, this could have been an inside job. There is one suspect in question, Dean Jon Nickell, an outspoken advocate for a senate bill proposed to make a unified statement by the WWU student body that cereal is not soup. Dean Nickell attended the March 8 senate meeting in support of that bill. The presumption of innocence is a foundational premise of the American justice system; thus, no actions can be taken against Dean Nickell until further proof has been gathered.
John McVay, president of the University, gave a statement saying, “We know this is a difficult time for our student body. The administration gives its full support to the campus security investigation.”
As a student, there are a few things you can do to aid the investigation. First, reach out to your Senators, encouraging them to pass S.R 6. Even if the criminal in question is never identified, the passage of the bill will ensure the safe return of the costume. Lastly, report any suspicious activity or possible leads that could help campus security identify the whereabouts of the burglar and Wally Wolf.