content warning: animal cruelty, death, mentions of eugenics and war
As further budget cuts are implemented and tutors continue to be paid below minimum wage, it has become increasingly more difficult for the University to justify the cost of a university education, leaving students to wonder where exactly their money has gone.
In an exclusive report, Farrago can now disclose that student fees are being funnelled towards feeding a giant platypus called Robert Kajuga in the basement of Old Arts. The discovery was made last Tuesday by a group of lost second-year students, who were looking for the (rumoured to be extinct) farmers’ market. The students caught Duncan Maskell feeding Robert large buckets of cash in a man-made indoor lagoon as Arts students waved giant leaf-like fans up and down around the giant egg-laying mammal. The students described Robert—who was named after eugenicist and war criminal Robert Kajuga, to show the University now cares about diversity—as being roughly the size of a small shuttle bus and leaking like a geriatric dog.
It is understood that Robert is equipped with an extremely poor digestive system and can only break down Furta, a protein found exclusively in money. Despite his restricted diet, Robert still manages to enjoy his mealtimes. His go-to dish is cash that has been marinated in the Union House ATMs, particularly those run by the Commonwealth Bank.
Robert’s origins are yet to be confirmed; however, it is believed that he is the result of a botched IVF lab experiment involving Melbourne University boffins mixing the genes of Fozzie Bear, Jean-Paul Sartre and a random platypus.
Despite puzzlement from some students, Maskell and the University board have maintained that Robert deserves to live, citing the platypus’ ability to produce a special gas with his magical flipper. The gas reportedly promotes student wellbeing by making lecturers good at their jobs and assignments intellectually stimulating, a claim that is yet to be confirmed by an independent body. In turn, the University must maintain Robert’s diet through the deliberate inclusion of “meaningless compulsory filler subjects”, such as the Arts Foundation subjects and half the Master of Teaching course.
A small number of students have slammed the revelation, demanding that their fees be spent on more reasonable things, such as a Birkenstock repair shop in Arts West and a champagne fountain in the Spot. Unfortunately, animal cruelty laws prevent any reform to Robert’s lifestyle, as the slightest shift would rupture his sensitive digestive system and cause a painful death, akin to that of a gaseous beached whale. According to the University, reducing student fees slightly in response to students’ compromised education during the COVID-era would result in “a massive animal rights violation”.
Not on this University’s watch!