UMass Amherst Board of Trustees announced their plans to roll out the initiative to become a Nature Sanctuary Campus (NSC). The Board took swift actions after hundreds of Canadian geese were irreverently turned away when they tried to fly south for the winter.
A statement from American Civil Liberties Goose-Union (ACLGU) spokesperson noted that there seemed to be some sort of barrier that walled off the Geese from their typical flight pattern. The geese inCampus Pond feel that garnering the acceptance of students will be an uphill battle, specifically comparing it to walking up the hill through Central to Orchard Hill after a snowstorm. The peaceful goose population hopes to break away from the harmful stereotype cast upon them in the 2016 film Sully, by showing the compassion and diversity of their community during their time at the UMass Campus Pond
Canadian geese are not the first flighted foreigners to seek refuge on UMass’ campus. Peregrine falcons have successfully nested on the roof of the Du Bois Library since 2003. The Peregrine falcon is the national animal of the United Arab Emirates, which some student advocacy groups believe was the only justification for the installation of surveillance cameras outside of the their nesting grounds on top of the library in 2012.
We reached out to the Du Bois Falcons to ask about their feelings on their new pond dwelling neighbors and they said they “welcome them with wings spread wide open.”
The rest of the campus community seems to be split on the influx of Canadian geese around the Campus Pond vicinity. One UMass Amherst sophomore, Alan Turner, described the congregation of Canadian geese in the Campus Pond as “a public nuisance, physically and metaphorically blocking [his] access to a decent higher education.” Further cause for concern is attributed to improper vetting of the geese, which some believe could lead to the spread of Bird Flu, E.coli, or even Chlamydia.
As of today, many students have shown up in droves to gesture their support for the harbored Canada Geese, by partaking in geese rallies. One ‘geeseful’ protester, junior Elise Harris, said that she welcomes the “refugeese” and is “elated that the administration has finally found a use for the ‘fugly’ Campus Pond.”
Representatives from SGA did not respond to immediate requests for a comment, but sources says they are working frivolously with the intention of integrating the new Campus Pond residents into the UMass Community.
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