Staff editorial: The DUC gaslights ducks and we’re all worse for it

We are deeply disturbed by the lack of dedication the University has shown to its egalitarian values. There is oppression happening in plain sight on this campus every single day. The Danforth University Center has been a crucial part of the campus for a decade now. Yet despite having a building named after ducks, the administration continues to fail to support ducks on campus. The building named after them is not accessible to them, with its heavy doors and elevated steps. There are no ponds in the DUC. There are no insects or weeds for them to eat. In fact, there is a lack of bread available for duck consumption. Their dietary restrictions are blatantly ignored. This systemic violence towards ducks pales in comparison to the spectacular affronts levied against ducks within the walls of the DUC.

Ibby’s—an organization funded by Wash. U., worked at by Wash. U. workers, located on Wash. U.’s campus—serves duck on occasion. Is there no shame amongst those who design the menu that in the walls of the DUC, we carry out the most violent acts against ducks possible? It’s no wonder that ducks are a rare sight in the DUC. In our many years of continuously working in the duck, we have never seen a duck inside the DUC. Despicable.

The DUC isn’t the only part of campus that gaslights ducks. There’s no space for ducks to be ducks on campus. Mudd Field is duck-less. The few times we have seen birds on Mudd Field, they’ve left shortly after. The problem is exacerbated by how regularly Mudd Field is closed. Where are the ducks supposed to go if Mudd Field is closed and they aren’t welcome in the DUC? What should be a duck haven on campus is like water off a duck’s back.

The Swamp is no better. There’s rarely water on the Swamp. There’s no grubs on the Swamp. There’s no allotted space for ducks. The Swamp misleads the whole animal community. If an alligator were to step foot on the Swamp, she would not be welcome with open arms. She would be met with torment and violence. More likely, she would never have even come here. She would have seen that her kind was used by a mascot by Eliot House and felt insulted. This campus baits these poor animals into believing they have a home then exposes them to the worst abuses of our day. We should be ashamed.

We demand the University make the campus more accessible for ducks, alligators and other woodland animals it has gaslighted. There is no need for two fields that are only usable four weeks of the semester. One of them should be converted to designated Duck Territory, with ponds and plentiful bread. For the mental health of ducks, both at Wash. U. and beyond, we should change the name of the DUC to the Forsyth University Center.

Violence towards ducks has been tolerated on this campus for far too long. We call on the University to be better.

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.

Subscribe