Imagine returning to your dorm after a grueling day of classes, and opening your snack cabinet to find it ravaged by an intruder. It isn’t your roommate. She’s at some tournament or something. Seems you’ve got some new friends.

Rats.

But more likely, mice.

This semester, residents of Sue B. have been repeatedly visited by these furry little fiends. This isn’t a new occurrence at the University. Former residents of Phase will be familiar with this issue.

2011 also saw a surge in pest activity, on the First-year Quad and in Sue B.

Look, it’s impossible to prevent these incidents altogether, especially over a large timespan, but there are issues carrying over from previous infestations.

Last year, Brenna James, now a junior, caught 14 mice in her fourth-floor Munro suite. The vast majority were caught through a store-bought mouse trap, as opposed to the one provided by University pest control.

Now-junior Logan O’Connell, who had a first-floor suite in Munro spoke of how some of those UR-provided traps failed, allowing the mice to eat the bait without being captured.

And facilities failed to notify some residents on the locations of traps, increasing risk of student injury.

And these issues clearly weren’t resolved. Yet, housing prices have hardly gone down.

When we pay the school these fees, we do so with the expectation of security and well-being. Students are scared of staying in their dorms, and they have reason to be. Rodent droppings can spread diseases such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

In fact, last week, a Hong Kong man was diagnosed with the first case of the rat variation Hepatitis E. Researchers believe it happened from infected rat droppings in his food. Point is, rats and mice aren’t just gross. They’re a health hazard.

It’s time for UR to acknowledge its systematic failure in rodent prevention. And follow it up with drastic solutions.

Better University-provided traps. Easier access to the traps, and better visibility of them. Filling holes in the wall, especially during the summer. More bulletins about proper sanitary habits.

With all the stress students face here, the last thing they need to worry about is pestilence where they sleep.

Tagged: rats


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