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Students react to proposal to control geese with dogs

The geese sometimes make it hard for students to enjoy campus amenities, like the green. Photo by Nick Blank
The geese sometimes make it hard for students to enjoy campus amenities, like the green. Photo by Nick Blank

University officials are deliberating over a plan to move UNF’s Canadian Geese away from the core of campus with Border Collies, which depends on the response from students, faculty and staff.

Vice President for Public Relations Sharon Ashton said the geese present a potential health hazard and the university had a lot of complaints over the years.

“A lot of solutions didn’t seem viable or humane,” Ashton said.

The university has received over 50 responses via [email protected] so far. Ashton said the feedback from faculty, students and staff went both ways — some are are excited by the geese being removed from campus while others are disheartened.

border-collie-1156818_1920“Some love them. They see them as a second mascot built into the core of the campus and the nature preserve.

“Others have serious concerns like walking through the feces, students with handicaps rolling over them and how protective the geese can be,” Ashton said. “There’s also the risk of E. Coli.”

Photography major Elaine Hosking said the geese could be a nuisance at times, but they weren’t that bad.

“The baby geese during the spring are really cute. UNF is known for the geese. This is a nature preserve, this is where they live.”

Hosking added she was chased by a goose once that was protecting its nest.

Cholito Meade, a junior psychology major, said the geese didn’t bother him that much, but they were pretty annoying.

“They poop everywhere and if they’re walking on the sidewalk, you know I’m going to get out of the way.”

Jeremy Rahm and Sam Donini both thought the geese ought to stay.

“I love the geese, they’ve always been here. I’m about to graduate and it’s been a part of the whole experience,” Rahm said. “I get that they’re annoying sometimes, but I like them.”

“So if we didn’t have the geese would there be a bunch of border collies running around?” Donini asked. “Because I’m all in favor of that.There’s pros and cons: the geese are amazing and cool and majestic, but the s— everywhere does suck.”

Madison Woodall was looking at the pond in front of the Student Union that the geese sometimes inhabit.

“They’ve become a part of UNF culture. It’s a running joke now on social media,” Woodall said. “Now do I want to step in goose poop all the time? No.”

The university, however, is still seeking input from the campus community at [email protected]. Ashton said the university will look at the responses during the spring semester and promptly make a decision.

“If you’ve got an opinion let us know,” Ashton said.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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