Geese’s presence wanted despite unwanted presents

By Marie O'Neal, Staff Writer

When students returned to campus this semester, it looked like they stumbled upon an episode of “Geese Gone Wild.”

If you haven’t noticed, there is a gaggle of new friends who have become comfortable on campus amid a lack of human presence.

And while many people enjoy the added wildlife on campus, there is only one downside to sharing our space with these little creatures, which is their lack of bathroom boundaries.

The goose excrement is most prevalent on the pathways near Eck, Sacred Heart and the Dugan Library. It is also covering most of the grass and the baseball field.

This has not deterred many from enjoying the new presence on campus, though.

Professor Sonja Bontrager is especially fond of the geese.

“I love living in an animal sanctuary. I enjoy nature, and I like the birds, squirrels and geese on campus. I think they got used to us not being around in mass, so they used our campus as well,” she said.

The only downside was that she had to be very careful walking into McNeil on the first day of classes lest she pick up an unwanted remnant on her shoe.

“However, they are contributing to our ecosystem, and I’m willing to make those sacrifices so that we have the opportunity to be in touch with nature,” Bontrager said.

Senior Clare Morgan said she has also felt the presence of Newman’s new friends.

“The geese on campus have helped me stay light on my feet and have heightened my awareness of my surroundings and the steps I’m taking,” she said.

As a nursing major, she is always thinking about the body and says the geese have helped heighten her senses.

“I am nothing but grateful for their commitment to my vestibular system,” she said.

Senior Stephania Lopez also appreciates the geese on campus.

“Sometimes I have to wait for them to cross the road when I’m driving, which is actually funny and not bothersome at all, but I love the fact that we have animals on campus.”

There have been rumors, though, that sports teams have been unequally impacted by the goose feces.

Sophomore baseball player, Zach Boh confirmed this.

“It’s unfortunate the geese have laid claim to the Newman sports fields. We warm up for practice, and it is sometimes tough to find goose-poop-free grass to lay down and stretch in,” he said.

Groundskeeper Dion Smallwood confirmed that while the students were away, the geese did, in fact, play.

He noticed an influx of geese, specifically during winter break.

“Yeah, there were a lot out there,” he said. “It took about two weeks to try to blow off all the sidewalks. Usually, we try to blow it off before anyone gets here. Sometimes we try to run them off, but I don’t think it even takes an hour and they’re back.”

PHOTO: Madeline Alvarez, Editor-In-Chief