Uni Denies Accusations of Artificial Bird Noises on Campus

Uni Denies Accusations of Artificial Bird Noises on Campus

Weird thing to lie about but alg…

An Official Information Act request has revealed that the University does not, in fact, use artificial bird noises in its trees, putting an end to a long debate in the student community. Or has it.

For context if you’re wondering what the fuck we’re talking about, you only need to take a walk past the trees outside the Burns Building at around 5-6pm to understand. The ears of passersby are assaulted by the deafening sound of chirping, yet with nary a bird in sight.

Critic Te Ārohi was alerted to an OIA request asking the question on all of our minds: “I am writing to enquire about your use of digital artificial avian noises throughout the Dunedin Campus [...] There seems to be a constant repetitive cycle of avian noises that sound tinny, which leads me to believe that they may be originating from a speaker. Furthermore, they are consistent no matter the time of day or season, which does not coincide with my ecological knowledge of birdsong. In summary, I would like to know whether there is use of artificial avian noise emanating from speakers around campus, the reason for unbeknownst to me.”

The Uni responded: “The University does not use digital artificial avian noises on campus. Consequently, we are unable to provide you with clarification of the reason(s) for using artificial avian noises, and therefore decline providing any further information [...] as the information is not held by the University.” Oh snap.

Critic Te Ārohi reached out to both the Departments of Ecology and Zoology to understand why the birdsong sounded so strange. Oscar, a Masters student working with birds, thought that the birdsong was likely from a starling roost, a bird which “gets pretty loud in the evenings.” Oscar then referred Critic Te Ārohi to a Youtube video of a starling roost which admittedly sounded literally exactly the same as an evening stroll past Burns. Hmm. 

But what does the student body think? A real starling roost or an elaborate University cover-up for an unknown but definitely sinister reason? “It’s a coverup,” said third-year Henry. “The University has to do it for the woke bird agenda […] The departments of Zoology and Ecology get their funding from the University, who in turn gets it from the government, so of course they have to lie.” Just as we suspected, Henry.

Second-year Libby theorised that “maybe the reason the University has a budget hole is due to all the speakers.” She also affirmed that “the birds work for the bourgeois.” With students condemning the University’s claims as “appalling,” it appears that rumours of artificial bird noise will live on, despite an OIA response which legally obligates the University to tell the truth.

This article first appeared in Issue 12, 2024.
Posted 3:04pm Sunday 19th May 2024 by Hanna Varrs.