by Matthew Mazzella ’20
As the spring semester kicks up at Providence College, students were hoping to start off without some uninvited guests in their rooms.
On Jan. 13, Suites Hall residents reported mice in various rooms throughout the building. These sightings have left students wondering what could have caused this issue, as well as what the College is doing to keep students safe.
Jana Valentine, director of Residence Life, believes the cold weather and abundance of food is the reason the mice were spotted. Valentine states, “Any time there is cold weather, pests tend try to find a warm place to stay. Suites is a food-rich environment, which can contribute to the problem when food and crumbs are left out.”
Students such as Elizabeth Connor ’20 are not happy with the situations they have had to deal with. Connor stated, “The mice issue is not only gross, but it also makes us super uncomfortable and anxious in our own living space. Nobody should have to worry about mice being in their room, especially if you are cautious about your room being clean.”
Residence Life believes that there is more that needs to be done on their part to educate students about keeping the dorms clean so issues like this do not keep happening.
Valentine believes, “We need to educate students and stress the importance of keeping food in the cabinets and in containers, as well as taking all trash to the trash rooms, and ensuring all rooms are neat and not messy to prevent an environment where mice would want to be.”
The Physical Plant is doing everything in its power to meet students’ needs and make sure all dorms remain pest-free. Andrew Sullivan, executive director of the physical plant, supposes the problem stems from the perfect combination of the large amounts of food in Suites and the vacant environment during winter break.
When asked about his opinion on how the mice ended up in Suites, Sullivan mentioned, “Mice like to rest in areas with not a lot of activity, which makes apartments a perfect environment for them, especially over winter break when no students are on campus.”
Sullivan and his team have been aggressively trapping and carrying out preventative methods to make sure this problem is put to rest. They will continue to keep traps out and service the building until they have found the entry points or eliminated all the pests.
PC has been working with a new vendor, Reliable Pest Control, who has provided the College a 32 percent decrease in pest-related issues since 2017 after making the switch from an old vendor who was providing inferior service on pest-related projects around campus.
The Physical Plant believes this company gives them a better chance to be more aggressive in pest control to keep Friartown pest-free.
Sullivan stressed the importance of emailing FixIt when issues like these arise.
He says, “Always submit the issue to FixIt immediately. If you do not hear a response, don’t be afraid to email us again. Also reach out to RAs and Hall Director to ensure the urgency of the issue. Also contact your RA, Hall Director, or ResLife if you have any questions or want a better understanding of what actions are being taken in response to the issue.”
While PC seems to have a handle on the mice outbreak, it is up to students to make sure that campus remains mice-free, and that starts with making sure the residence halls remain clean.
Keeping all halls free of loose food and trash, especially during the weekends, can make a big difference in keeping students’ rooms clear of any unwanted critters.