For God, For Country, For Goose?

by Joseph Zordan

Yale. Just that single word evokes so many images, memories, and feelings. From Harkness, to SSS, to Comm… I mean Schwarzman, all the way to the coat brand that has become as ingrained in the average Yalie’s experiences, Canada Goose.

Prior to Yale, I had never heard of the brand. This may have been because I come from one the most impoverished counties in Wisconsin, but I digress. Regardless, this blissful ignorance did not last long. Soon after arriving I discovered the brand from mostly the “Canada Moose” stickers sold by my residential college, Ezra Stiles. However, it was not until the temperature dipped under 40 did I begin to see what exactly Stiles meant when the ad stated that Canada Goose was, “brand that we all know and love (to hate).”

Now as I write this, I don’t think a day has passed since I’ve seen at least twelve of our feathered friends. So ridiculously overrepresented are these luxury brand items on campus that the page “Canada Goose at Yale*,” recently hatched to accumulate 594 likes since it’s creation on January 21st. While platforms have surfaced to show people are, in the very least, comically aware of Yale’s Goose infestation; the question remains, however, why this infestation persists.

The answer to this question could be a variety of things. There is, of course, the argument about product quality. I mean, what responsible parent wouldn’t want to send their kid out in some expedition gear here in the tundra of Connecticut? What other coat can I wear to enjoy a coyote fur lined hood? The answer is irrelevant because let’s be honest, this isn’t just about quality.

They are good coats. Obviously the Canadian Federal Government wasn’t out there picking up whatever parka maker popped up in the late 50’s, but last time I checked we aren’t exactly quite that far north. Canada Goose’s presence on campus has caused whatever functional purpose the coats served originally, but have also become another symbol of Yale’s frivolous wealth.

At the end of the day, there’s something about that ever-identifiable patch, fur-lined hood, and presence of “gaggles,” or large groups of people wearing Canada Goose, that really marks Canada Goose as just another ostentatious display of wealth here at Yale, no different from the monuments that define our landscape.

*The author of this work is in no way affiliated with Canada Goose at Yale other than appreciation of it’s existence.