By: Lorelei Kenny & Morin Mawhinney
For many years, the Student Union office was filled with an undefinable resilient presence of one special, blue fish known as Attila the Betta (2013-2016). Attila came from a long line of office fish and was preceded by Orbert the Fish during 2010-2013. It was in 2010 that Orbert was gifted to to SU President Rob Livingstone by one of his Vice Presidents, who has requested to remain anonymous. When Orbert retired in early 2013, he moved away to live out the rest of his days with the President who had just finished up her time in office. Midway through 2013, Attila (named after Attila the Hun) was chosen as Orbert’s successor when President Lucas Macarthur took office. The little fish quickly became a loyal companion and a crucial member of the office.
Many inside and outside sources tell the Cadre that while Attila was in Lucas’s and Dana’s care he was content. Attila always got fed, arrangements were always made for a fish-sitter if he or she was not in the office, and Attila was regularly consulted when important decisions were being made. Many in the University thought him to be a wise fish, worthy of consultation. It must be mentioned, though, that these former presidents weren’t always on top of the care the fish provided; Lucas occasionally forgot to fill the tank up, while Dana would occasionally forget to sprinkle in Attila’s breakfast, lunch or supper. Through it all, Attila was a virtuous soul, always forgiving toward his presidential companions. He pulled through because he knew that he was loved; Attila was sure that, soon enough, he would have lakes of fresh water and piles of beautiful fish flakes.
“My presidential term was plagued with snow days, (we once had a whole week of school cancelled) and I remember driving out to campus during that week to make sure Attila was fed. He was great fish, RIP Atilla. I’d like to give a special shout out to Candice Heigh, the SU’s admin assistance as I always seemed to rope her into the fishbowl cleaning process – was definitely not my strength. ” – Past President Lucas MaCarthur
“I spent many a night burning the midnight oil with Attila the fish. During my tenure at the UPEISU, he truly kept me company in the darkest of hours. I believe my predecessors and the teams that served with them felt most fondly towards Atila. He was the kind of fish that was always willing to listen, his unwavering support was demonstrated time and again as he always floated by me during the most difficult of decisions. The only time he might have judged me was when I forgot to feed him…but I often forgot to feed myself while working in that office. It saddens me deeply that he has passed on, for his sake, I promise to “just keep swimming” through life while doing my best to reflect the kindness and care that he showed me while serving UPEI students.” – Former President Dana Kenny.
As he grew older, it was known that Attila had an abnormally large growth where is top fin was to supposed to be. He was never diagnosed with any illness and the growth did not seem to affect him in any way; he always had such a thirst for life. When Hood took office, Attila took a turn for the worst, seeming to have lost the will to live. However, it was over the summer when Hood and Attila were alone in the office, that the resilient Betta drew his last gulp.
“I don’t think Nathan was fond of the fish, I don’t know how often he fed it, but I know he never cleaned the tank. When Attila died, he sat, dead, in a tank of dirty water, uncared for, for several days before Nathan tried to flushed him down the toilet . . . and still didn’t clean the tank – in the end he went in the garbage. RIP Attila” -Inside Source
In this case Nathan Hood had motive, opportunity and means. It may have been unintentional, but the Cadre Undercover fiercely believes Nathan Hood is guilty of Negligent Fish-Slaughter. It is a shock he didn’t cover his tracks better. A council member, who asked to remain anonymous, said that they told Nathan to replace the fish so no one would notice, but Nathan ignored them saying ” ‘nahhhhh,’ he just wouldn’t listen.”
“Since [Attila’s] passing, there has been a strange absence in the office.”
-Anonymous Office Staff Member
This is an absence that will be felt keenly, regardless of how many fish attempt to replace the brave Attila.