Our opinion: Drastic action necessary in face of hawk menace

The University of Miami is facing a severe problem. No, not economic turmoil, or a lack of parking. Or even the end of spring football. No, this is a threat to our very existence. The cause of such concern? Hawks.

The red-shouldered hawk has returned to campus. For at least the past three years, the east side of campus near Mahoney-Pearson and the West Lab Elementary School has been made a death trap with the arrival of these agents of Satan himself. They nest, they swoop and they attack. Yet we go on about our lives as though nothing has happened. Well, fellow students, it is now time to act. Here are our proposals:

1. President Shalala must immediately evacuate all university buildings east of the canal (towards US-1), including Mahoney-Pearson Residential College, in an orderly manner, preferably avoiding pavement. Even though the BankUnited Center is almost a half-mile away as the hawk flies, this is no time to cut corners.

2. A comprehensive plan must be developed by the university administration, including a blue-ribbon panel to discuss hawk removal, and the funding of a hawk-protection program, including, but not limited to, hawk suits and hawk hats for all students, faculty and staff.

3. A re-evaluation of all future university construction on campus with hawks in mind. Features should include hawk sirens, the removal of all trees and the possibility of doming the Coral Gables campus.

As we have said, these are not easy actions to take. But we must protect the safety and well-being of the university community at all costs. Not only will this protect us from the evils of the hawks, it will stimulate our local economy. The time for words is over. The time for action is now.

Note: This editorial was written on April 1, 2009.