As the fall semester officially goes into full swing, many familiar sights and things will return once again. From pumpkin spice lattes, confused freshmen, cramming for midterms, and late night runs to the Union for discounted burritos, nothing spells out a new school year than these time honored Stony Brook traditions. Another tradition that can be added to this list is the inevitable “Return of the Quack:” the covering of Stony Brook University with goose feces.
Whether you are walking to the Union or Roth Café, to Frey Hall or Javits, there is a disproportionately high chance that you may run across a single goose, or quite possibly a gaggle of geese, comfortably lounging around, leaving excrement wherever they please. This, obviously, has students annoyed and frustrated, as walking to your class while having to leapfrog around a minefield of geese feces is not normally what you expect when you go away to college.
To Stony Brook University’s credit, the administration has sought out ways to try to counter this epidemic. For instance, border collies were brought onto the universities’ campus last semester in an attempt to help round up and scare the geese according to remarks made by Gary Kaczmarczyk, the executive director of Stony Brook Environmental Health and Safety, in an article written earlier this year.
However, this still has not fully answered the problem at hand: there are still geese happily trotting along Roth Pond and many other places. So what other alternatives are there?
For one, a new predator could be introduced into the environment to act as a stabilizer for the population, though that option is more than likely never going to happen since that would lead to not only excrement on our universities campus, but dead geese as well. That would probably be a deterrent to any prospective students visiting Stony Brook, since our already unappealing campus would be dampened just a bit more.
On the other, more humane, hand, the university could try to bring in more of these border collies to try to scare more of geese away, which would probably be the more ethical way to solve the dilemma at hand.
Another possible way to drive the geese out would be to relocate them to a different part of the island by bringing in a third party that specializes in animal removal, though that would still leave the possibility of the geese just flying back to Stony Brook the moment that they are relocated.
There is no clear-cut method that will definitively get rid of the geese, save for option two. Unfortunately, if a solution cannot be found, it looks like everyone is just going to have to suck it up, put on their shoes and trudge onward to their next class, avoiding both geese and their excrement alike.
But look on the bright side: when the semester is all said and done, you will not have to see any more geese for close to two months, until the inevitable spring semester rolls around, in which you will see that “The Quack Strikes Back”.