Opinion: Nigel the Goose is a nuisance to Illinois Wesleyan

By Farah Bassyouni Mar 31, 2023

Geese: you either love them or hate them. Personally, I hate them, especially the ones that are glorified at Illinois Wesleyan University. The so-called king & queen of the quad are Nigel and Karen, does anyone know which two of the geese they actually are? Probably not. Last year the Sticker of the Month club released a sticker that showed Nigel the goose, with the words “Nigel for President 2024.” Although the sticker was cool, the message shows just how much IWU students glorify the geese. There is even an Instagram account, @nigelthegoose, dedicated to documenting sightings of him. They are different from other geese I have encountered previously. 

Until last summer, I lived in the same house since the 2nd grade. That house sits on a cul-de-sac that has a pond with geese. These ducks and geese were normal, they rarely tried to come near people, or even get near homes. If you walked near them, they flew off, they did not like humans. If a goose was ever in my way, I remember my friend’s grandma would roll up a magazine and swat at the geese to get them to go away, which they did. They did not hiss, or try to bite her, they just flew away and honked. If I tried to do that with an IWU goose, like Nigel, I would likely get bit or attacked. Some people say the geese on campus are laid back, yet I know for a fact that they are quite the opposite. 

Just a few days ago, I saw one of the geese hiss and then attempt to bite someone walking on the sidewalk. Luckily, they were able to walk away fast enough and the goose gave up, but not everyone is so lucky. Several of my friends told me their tales of goose attacks. While I was off studying abroad last spring, they were fighting off flying foes. All it takes is to walk past the wrong goose at the wrong time, do not even try making eye contact, and in a split second, they will charge you, try to fly at your head, or bite at you. After all that, if you are one of the lucky ones who remains free from attacks, there is the poop. There are constant piles of nasty green poop all over the sidewalks. I am done with people glorifying and liking the presence of the geese, they need to go. 

Popular shows and movies like “Rio” and “Regular Show exhibit what I already know; geese are evil little demon-like creatures. Take my advice, encounter them at your own risk, and avoid them as much as possible.

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