Spring has brought an abundance of insects to campus dorms.
by Rachel Whiteside
Haskell University has five dorms that students can live in; Roe Cloud, Winona, Pocahontas, Osceola Keokuk, Blalock Hall and one Student Residential Assistant Dorm Powhatan. Recently a few of these dorms have been a home to residents that are not human. Many students when asked about the dorms had a lot to say about how unsatisfied they were.
“My first semester at Pocahontas Hall people kept telling me about a room in the basement where the laundry was. Turns out it was a room full of cockroaches. When you flip on the light they hundreds of them just scatter.” Stated Mary Turner a sophomore at Haskell. Insects take a huge part in a lot of the dorm resident’s stories. From cockroaches and ants to deadly spiders such as Recluse and Black Widow as well as wasps and stinkbugs. Canté England shared her experience as well. “I stay in Roe Cloud hall, my room is on the first floor and I’ve had wasp, multiple brown recluse spiders, and two ugly black spiders”
Recluse and black widow spiders are famous for being extremely venomous. To be bitten by these spiders can cause fatal side effects. “I’ve had a lot of spiders in my room, they need to have a better insect control because this is unsanitary and gross. I did not expect to live with cockroaches,” commented Coral Benson a sophomore at Haskell. While Haskell student Quintin Allen said “I just found like a swarm of ants just chilling in my room and it’s getting worse. I mean it doesn’t help that my roommate and I wait till the last minute to take out our trash but it’s still gross.”
Spiders are not the only problem that these dorms have been inflicted by. Residents from both Pocahontas and Roe Cloud dorms have witnessed mice in their rooms. The Resident Advisor at Pocahontas Hall Lori Hasselman said “Mice have started to come in to Pocahontas Hall, it’s very dangerous because mice can carry diseases that are harmful to humans.” As well as Diamond Williams who had multiple incidents in her room with mice. “My roommate and I have a mouse problem. It’s ridiculous, we kill one and another one will take its place. I’ve asked our Resident Advisor if there was anything they could do and all they gave us was extra mousetraps. It’s disgusting and I’m getting really tired of having to throw away stuff because the mouse got into it.”
Williams also stated, “Our suitemates have the same issue and it’s like the mouse is playing a game. If our room has traps he moves to their room. When our room doesn’t have traps because we think it’s gone, the stupid mouse comes back because our suitemates got traps!” Many students will testify to having incidents with; mice, spiders, roaches, and ants infesting their rooms. Vivian Pomeroy another student said that “Haskell doesn’t have enough resources to or equipment to efficiently clean every room in the dorms.” The infestation in the dorms has become more and more relevant resulting in many students complaining to their Residential Assistant. (RA)
As a student resident assistant, Lori Hassleman believes the blame for pests should be a shared responsibility. “It has a lot to do with cleanliness, some of the residents in these dorms don’t keep their rooms clean as the other residents. In Pocahontas Hall, facilities comes to spray and provide plenty of mouse traps when asked. You can’t truly stop all spiders from coming in because they will always be there. So I don’t know how much more facilities can do beyond that.” Facililities was contacted for an interview but refused to give comment.