By: Makeda Viechweg
The MCA computer room where no eating or drinking is allowed, smelled of a dead mouse.The two hour and a half Television Journalism class had to sit through the nauseating on November 5.
Professor Barbara Nevins Taylor and teacher assistant Sarah Bellingham opened the windows and door in hopes to air out the decomposing smell that distracted their students.
Half of the class was gagging and coughing, scooting their chairs up to the front of the room where it did not smell as bad.
“What do you want me to do, it’s decomposing in the walls. There’s nothing we can do but let nature takes its course,” says Wayne Grofik, the overseer of all technical aspects in the Media and Communications Department.
The dead mouse in question was trapped in the walls of the computer room out of sight and reach for anyone to do anything about it. With all other rooms occupied, students had to just deal with it.
“So there is nothing we can do? It’s a distraction for my class,” says Professor Nevins Taylor in disbelief.
“Whenever I see people eating in here, I tell them to stop. Students bring food in here and they leave it. You know how many times I clean up after them?” responds Grofik, tired and disgruntled.
“Well let’s report it. Facilities should do something about it. It’s not healthy for the students to sit here and inhale the odor. It’s also impossible to concentrate,” Nevins Taylor says, equally frustrated.
“It’s trapped in the walls. Nothing we can do.”
Some students in the class claimed that the dead mouse smell has been like this all last week. The following week, class was scheduled in the adjacent room due to the lingering dead mouse smell.
On October 29, a huge roach crawled its way through computer cords under the desks in the same MCA room.
The class screamed and shifted to the other side of the room, frantically grabbing their bags and pulling their feet up on the chairs.
Professor Nevins Taylor tried to stomp it and Bellingham tried to capture it with her empty coffee cup. The roach was too slick for them and they gave up trying and class continued as scheduled.
Journalist student Michael Alles talked of a time a mouse ran between his feet while he was eating lunch.
“I was sitting in the balcony on the fourth floor overlooking the Great Hall [in Shepherd] eating my lunch when a mouse darted between my feet and went into a hole in the wall.”
“I guess I’m part of the problem for eating there but I was disgusted and couldn’t even finish my lunch,” Alles recounts that it happened about three weeks ago.
In an English literature class, student Alejandra warned other students about seeing a mouse pop out of a hole in the corner of the room in the NAC building and naturally, students were spooked and grossed out.
“Yeah I swear to God it ran out of that hole yesterday,” she exclaims. “My other class is also in this room and it caused this whole commotion in the class. So watch out.”
This is not Alejandra’s first run in with small rodents on campus.
“You know the Hoffman café right across from where the Campus Bookstore was? My friends and I saw a small dead mouse against the wall. It was disgusting,” Alejandra remembers. “Then, all of a sudden, it pops back up and starts moving again. It was freaky. Never saw anything like it,” she says shivering from the thought.
The facilities office declined to talk to The Campus on the college’s mice infestation.
Just as in the Shepherd and NAC buildings, The Towers are plagued with rodents as well.
“We’ve named the mouse Despereaux” says City College student Sarah Logan, making light of her and her roommates’ living situation.
Logan recounts to mid-October when she walked into her suite one night to find that her roommates moved the couch into the center of the common area and off the wall.
Maintenance got a call that student residents saw a mouse in their suite and will send in someone to lay down stick white traps. Yet, a maintenance worker did not come in until two days later to set the traps.
Logan reports that up until now, the mouse has not been caught, seeing it alive and well about two weeks ago. “At first I heard squeaking and then I saw the brown mouse, very small but still freaky, run across the far wall of the common area.”
Logan and her roommates name the mouse Despereaux, after the book and movie, The Tales of Despereaux, a courageous mouse.
There is no telling why the Orkin Pest Control truck remains parked on campus.
The assumed pest control company lays down medium-sized, sticky white cardboard box traps along the walls of the campus buildings making it obvious of their purpose for everyone to see.
Some are big black hard plastic boxes the size of a household dust pan for what we can assume to hold larger rodents.
Solutions are being put in place but there’s no way to know for sure if it is working.
For the time being, students will have to share their campus with small rodents and roaches that interrupt their learning, meals, and personal spaces.