As the long anticipated warm weather arrives, students will shed their mittens and parkas for tank tops and flip-flops. But watch where you step with those nice new sandals…the geese are back in town! The fall semester was filled with student complaints about the more than 360 Canada geese defecating all over campus walkways, clogging up car and foot traffic and being downright aggressive toward innocent students walking to class.
What used to be an annoyance has now become a public safety issue and is causing hazardous driving conditions. Students are tracking fecal matter into residence halls and academic buildings making it more likely for them to become sick from the bacteria. Because the geese are overgrazing the grass around Roth Pond, the Pond will again face the problem it did during the fall semester when it turned a sickly, radioactive green due to the geese-induced algae blooms.
The Roth Pond Regatta is one of the most anticipated events by students throughout the year and it would really be a shame if the pesky geese spoiled it. The Humane Society and PETA Humane Goose Control Solutions have advocated for the use of border collies and professional trainers to control the geese on campus in a humane manner.
Beginning this month, border collies will be brought onto campus by personnel trained to handle the dogs that will be used to scare away the geese. Once the Canadian Geese perceive a threat, they will flee the campus, in search of a safer place to roam.
Students do not have to be concerned about the safety of the geese. The collies are only there to spook the geese so that there will not be such a high concentration on Stony Brook’s campus, left to cause problems.
There are mixed responses among students about the university’s choice to use dogs to scare the geese. Some feel that it is a waste of money while others feel it is going to be completely ineffective. Some students think it is completely unacceptable.
One response on the Stony Brook Happenings page, from someone who identified himself as Justin wrote, “I think this is a ludicrous idea. The geese are a necessary part of the ecosystem at Roth Pond. They do nothing but add to the serene beauty of our campus. As a resident of Roth Quad, I cannot imagine walking by Roth Pond and seeing NO GEESE. If action is indeed taken to reduce the goose population, I will personally lead a revolt against President Samuel L. Stanley.”
If any students would like to learn more about geese control, they can contact Environmental Health and Safety at (631)-632-6410.

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