Local children protest movement of geese

By Jean Dobrzynski

Ten-year-old Theresa Roff is playing Mother Goose and hoping to save NIU’s domesticated geese from being moved.

“It’s not fair that they want to move the geese and not the ducks when they brought the geese here intentionally,” she said. “It’s mean and I want to stop them from taking them away.”

Roff is protesting a motion the University Campus Environmental Committee introduced and passed Feb. 21 that called for the geese to be relocated with the help of the Student Committee for Animal Welfare (SCAW).

James Grosklags, assistant chair of the biological sciences department, said he presented the motion because the geese leave droppings, are “ruining all the grass … and have decimated large areas of turf.”

Theresa’s father Tom Roff, NIU senior business major, said Grosklags’ reasoning is ridiculous.

“Look at all the people here on this beautiful day. I don’t see anyone here complaining about goose droppings,” he said. “They brought them (the geese) here and now look. Next they’re going to move the ducks, then the squirrels, then all the trees.”

Tom said he told his daughter Friday that NIU officials were going to get rid of the geese and she immediately started to make signs protesting their relocation.

He said Theresa called her three cousins and asked them if they would come to the east lagoon with her on Saturday and Sunday to get people to sign a petition that would allow the geese to stay on campus.

Her 12-year old cousin, Kevin White from Sycamore, said he decided to help Theresa because he likes to ride his bike to the lagoon in the summer and feed the geese.

“They’re neat to watch and I would be sad if they were gone,” he said. “I think some of the people at my school will sign the petition.”

Senior marketing major Dan Smith said he was driving down Lincoln Highway yesterday afternoon and saw the group of protesters before he stopped his car to sign the petition.

“I knew there would be someone out here with a petition,” he said. “This is just another example of the few deciding for the majority. Don’t the officials have anything better to do?”

Roff agreed with Smith’s statement, questioning the priorities of the university during trying economic times.

“There are so many other things they should be doing,” he said. “NIU is not in tune with what the students want. Everything is behind closed doors and then they tell us after decisions have been made what is going to be cut.”

Tom said once he reaches his goal of about 200 signatures, he will submit the petition to NIU President John La Tourette.