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Call to Action: Punxsutawney Phil Needs to be Removed From Office!

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Conn Coll chapter.

(Disclaimer: This is a work of satire.)

Much to my chagrin, February 2 arrived again with fanfare and festivities for a stupid little groundhog who only has to work one day a year. If you’re unaware of what I’m talking about, maybe you should emerge from your burrow every now and then, but it’s Groundhog Day, or my least favorite holiday after my birthday. 

Every year, little mister Punxsutawney Phil is observed as he rises from his den, looks for his own shadow, and then retreats from whence he came. This year, he did not see his shadow, which of course predicts an early spring. 

Now, I am a Classics major, so I am no stranger to oracles and auguries, but as I scrape ice off of my car for the third day in a row this February, I am forced to come to the conclusion that Punxsutawney Phil is just plain bad at his job. As it turns out, Punxsutawney Phil has only been accurate about 39% of the time. I could be more accurate if I flipped a coin. 

Additionally, Punxsutawney Phil has somehow managed to stay in office far longer than any elected position allows. His first prediction was made in 1887, and he has been in office since then. For context, the United States President is allowed 8 years, Punxsutawney Phil has worked for 137 years. This is a dictatorship! Open your eyes, America! 

And how exactly has this groundhog, who only has a 3-year predicted lifespan, lived to give us 137 years of false meteorology? Well, Punxsutawney Phil has somehow recruited an “Inner Circle” of colonial men in top hats who are willing and capable of annually providing him with “Groundhog Punch,” a secret potion that grants him seven extra years of life each time he drinks it. Hmmmm. Sounds like a cult to me. Nevertheless, Punxsutawney Phil’s expected lifespan increases exponentially, and while previous generations have been complacent in being outlived by a groundhog, I am not so easily accepting of a mutant creature overlord. Do we even know the side-effects of drinking the elixir of life for over a century?

To be honest, I could live with an immortal groundhog who works one day a year and gets applauded for what could be the most boring episode of National Geographic. But it’s the inaccuracy that makes me so heated. This is supposed to be a democracy, and while every other office in America is evaluated regularly during election seasons, Punxsutawney Phil has evaded this democratic tradition by ducking into his hole. We need a new voice of winter weather predictions, and that is why I want to nominate “This Random Groundhog from Wikipedia” for your consideration. The stakes have never been higher thanks to the depletion of the ozone layer, but together we can make real, lasting change. 


Hello! My name is Catherine (she/her) and I am a Classical Languages and Art History major at Connecticut College. I am also completing a Museum Studies Certificate Program here. I work as a curatorial and archival intern at the New London County Historical Society, and I love visiting museums and spending time around good (and bad) art.