Satire: Vote The Pigeons for Homecoming Court

By Allison Dantinne, Senior Staff Columnist

Homecoming season has returned. Despite the utter lack of concern over this most absentminded and inconsequential of seasons, it’s apparently in full swing. We’ve all encountered visits from various homecoming court candidates — pleading their cases for sponsorship to any and all organizations currently on Pitt’s campus and describing their virtues and intended projects in exceptionally unexciting detail. 

Are you bored yet, dear reader? Exhausted by a season which should have no bearing on your life? Tired of a season pretending it is just as, if not more, important than midterms season?

Then consider voting for a candidate whose promise is to continue having absolutely no bearing on your life — a candidate that may not even qualify as a candidate. A candidate who isn’t even a person, because after your last group project in PSYCH 0010 recitation, the idea of people has become highly disappointing — and the rest of psychology cannot convince you otherwise.

Consider voting for The Pigeons on the Corner of Fifth and Bouquet, Where Those Benches and That Grass Are. You all know that spot and those pigeons, of course.

The Pigeons, by their catchiest and most convenient title — as they do run on a platform of convenience and unobtrusiveness to the student body throughout the homecoming season — are a staple of the Pitt community. As far as I’m concerned, The Pigeons are third only to Roc and the abandoned, half-eaten donut outlined in Market’s health inspection report in terms of what makes Pitt — well, Pitt.

Whenever I walk past them, standing proudly on that girl’s outspread and pigeon-inviting arms, I feel at home. Whenever I attempt to walk past them only to find one of them standing directly in front of me, staring at me with its beady little pigeon eyes before eventually moving as I’m about to sidestep it, I feel at home.

There is nothing more traditional than experiencing a sidewalk stand-off with a pigeon, a bird stubborn in constitution and small in stature. It’s an experience I’m sure every Pitt student since the University’s founding in 1787 has experienced. There is no building, no sports team, no hot dog shop more pervasive than The Pigeons. Sure, they are not the same pigeons from hundreds of years ago, as pigeons tend to live only six years in the wild, but the continuing spirit of The Pigeons emphasizes their dedication to tradition. There is nothing more traditional than a pigeon encounter and The Pigeons are here to promote reverence for this tradition and ensure that it lives on, one uncomfortable stop on Fifth at a time.

Reader, you may believe, either by the content of this piece or its labeling as “satire,” that The Pigeons are not a viable, serious pitch for homecoming court. However, as the rats of the sky, The Pigeons take their job of providing 1v1 standoffs with students very seriously, and will approach their homecoming responsibilities with the same earnest and hard working attitude with which they approach all other endeavors.

Lastly, The Pigeons stand for joy. Yes, they’re typically seen as sad, gray creatures who have little regard for the people walking around them. Yes, they swarm anyone who chooses to sit on any of the benches overlooking the small patch of green space offset from Fifth. Yes, the quad is now technically green space. But I’m simply not going to honor three patches of grass, new pavement and some tables as “green space,” especially when so little of it is green. And yes, The Pigeons do not immediately appear as kind or even as a valuable member of the Pitt community.

But isn’t that the point of their joy? The Pigeons are unassuming spots of brightness. Their constant presence is reassuring as you walk to class in the morning. The way they look at you as though they’re just seeing that you’re a person for the very first time is affirming after an all-nighter, when I’m not even sure I’m a person anymore. And sometimes, there is a beauty when the sun shines just so against the feathers of a pigeon, revealing a lovely purple and green shift to their feathers. There is light in the most unexpected of places.

The Pigeons are home. The Pigeons are The University of Pittsburgh. The Pigeons for Homecoming.