DISCLAIMER: The following article is an April Fools’ Day article. Though it may relate to real people or events, it is not factual.
If you’re a member of the Red Hawk Community, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard complaints made by students and faculty about the constant inconvenience of having to step over or walk around pathways that are infested with geese feces. Even more common are complaints about being attacked and feeling threatened by the large waterfowl, which have made their home here at Montclair State University.
“Montclair State has geese all over campus,” said Samantha Smith, a junior Netflix major with a minor in chill. “I was waiting for the shuttle in Lot 60 once, and I saw a girl walking toward the bus stop, and a goose just started chasing after her, knocked her down and took off with one of her hair extensions,” Smith explained.
It seems that after every winter, when the geese migrate back north, a number of them manage to find their way to Montclair State and can often be seen lounging peacefully in the grass or walking angrily around campus, looking for their next victim.
“We try to make it back north by March, when the weather gets warmer and all the snow has melted,” explained Earl, a goose who says he was born on the roof of Bohn Hall and returns to Montclair State every year to mate and nest.
“There’s a ton of grass, the air is fresh, and the New York skyline is just beautiful,” Earl explained when asked how his experience at Montclair State has been.
“On weekends, it’s even better,” he said, and explained how all the students go home, which gives the geese the entire campus to themselves. “Yup, its all here,” said Earl as he searched for a warm spot in the grass to lay on.
Earl is one of the friendlier birds in his gaggle, or group of geese. He said he tries to stay away from chaos and would rather relax than fight off a group of students.
The grass in front of College Hall is Earl’s favorite resting spot. According to Earl, not many students occupy the front of campus, so it’s usually pretty quiet, which allows him to eat grass and nap peacefully. However, there are times when student traffic increases and the quiet area that the geese are used to becomes temporarily disrupted.
“It’s just common courtesy to walk around a goose,” said Chuck, a fellow goose, when asked if he thinks it’s fair for tuition-paying students to feel threatened occasionally by a gaggle of geese. In terms of the feces situation, Chuck responded with: “What do they [the students] want us to do? When we need to go, we need to go.”
Chuck, 7, is a part of the first generation of Montclair State geese within his family. He was born near a tree behind Pittser Field and followed his parents, Charles and Gen, back to Canada when he was just a gosling. Although he came to Montclair State at the age of 4 in an effort to mate and form a gaggle, he had already developed the cold blood that runs in the water of all Canadian geese — making him the toughest goose at Montclair State.
“When I first came here, these Montclair State geese were a bunch of ‘softies,’” said Chuck.
“I usually take charge when the little rascals [students] are getting too rowdy,” Chuck said, explaining that he is one of the more aggressive geese of his gaggle.
As it turns out, Chuck is the goose who stole the girl’s hair extension in Smith’s story. He said he only took it because his girlfriend, Roxanne, always wanted to know what it’s like to be a blonde. “She loves it,” said Chuck as he pulled out his iPhone 6s from his wing pocket and showed a selfie of Roxanne sitting by the Village pool, extensions and all.