Motion passed to move geese

By Jayna Ronayne

The University Campus Environmental Committee has passed a motion to rid the campus of its domesticated geese.

James Grosklags, assistant chair of the biological sciences department, introduced the motion at the Feb. 21 meeting for something to be done about the geese.

“The problem with the geese is that you have to be an artful dodger to miss stepping in the stuff (droppings),” Grosklags said. “The geese are also ruining all the grass—they feed on the roots all winter and leave huge patches of black. They have decimated large areas of turf, and it’s just inappropriate to have them here.”

Rachel Vellenga, environmental committee member, said Grosklags’ first idea of how to get rid of the geese was “a bit strange.”

“His first idea was to have the geese killed, dressed and given to the Salvation Army,” she said. “I then made a friendly amendment to have them relocated with the help of the Student Committee for Animal Welfare (SCAW).

“It got passed. I wasn’t in support, but I knew no one would side with me, and the amendment would pass.”

Vellenga also said because the geese intentionally were brought here a long time ago, it was odd that the university would now want to get rid of them.

James Harder, chair of the environmental committee, said the committee is concerned for the welfare of the animals.

“We’re attempting to find appropriate homes for the domesticated geese, like a farm area, to relocate them to.”

Harder said the reasons for ridding the campus of the geese mainly is because of the droppings, but also because “sometimes the geese are intimidating.”

“There are stories about people feeling they’re being chased, but I’m not sure the stories are totally accurate,” he said.

The geese are not to be confused with the ducks which also roam the campus. Harder said the ducks generally are also a problem, but they are wild and migrate here.

“The ducks don’t have the tendency to walk up to the buildings like the geese do,” he said. “They generally stay around the east lagoon, and we don’t plan to do anything except simply leave them there.”

University Landscape Architect Jim Murphy said the NIU Grounds Department would be catching the geese and storing them until they are able to be relocated.

“I would say there are maybe 6 to 8 geese,” Murphy said. “It hasn’t been decided when the geese will be removed as of yet.”