On Jan. 18, a room in Baker Hall tested positive for bed bugs, resulting in students being made to leave their rooms by 5:00 p.m. while treatment was done. Though the Office of Housing said that the situation went smoothly, reports from students say the opposite.
In a statement to The Vermilion, Dawn Miller, interim director of housing, wrote that the Offices of Housing and Residential Life are working with a pest control contractor and affected residents following the report of bed bugs. Miller further shared how students can reduce the risk of bed bugs.
“Residents can help reduce the risk of bed bugs by regularly washing and heat-drying bed sheets, blankets, bedspreads and other bedding that touch the floor,” Miller wrote. “Residents should also remember to clean laundry containers or hampers when doing laundry, and should reduce clutter in their residences, particularly clothing on floors.”
Kat Standford, a freshman majoring in English, was among the students affected. She said that the entire situation had been difficult and stressful, and that students didn’t receive much help or information about what was going on.
“We were informed about it by email and a flyer. That’s it. No one else has said anything,” Standford said. “Housing hasn’t helped us at all with any of the procedures they’ve told us to do. We’ve been having to put our stuff in trash bags and book-sacks.”
Standford further shared that she and the other residents were told the rooms would be sprayed at 5:00 p.m., but by 7:15 p.m., she hadn’t seen any sign of that or heard anything new.
“We haven’t been given any updates at all. It’s been really stressful,” Standford said.
Miller, conversely, stated that the whole process had been very smooth.
“The affected students were asked to leave their room for one hour while the treatment was done. Then they were able to go back to their room after that. Everything went really smoothly.”
Ja’Khia Dodson, a freshman in elementary education, said that her room was sprayed four hours after the expected time, and that they didn’t receive updates on the situation or a place to stay.
“The only update we received was when they finished fumigating our rooms,” Dodson said. “They didn’t give us a place to stay. Everyone who had to evacuate had to stay in another friend’s dorm or find a hotel to stay in.”
Many students took to YikYak in order to share what was happening, with various reports sharing that they received little information on what was happening and no guidance on where they should go.
Dodson and Standford both said that their RAs weren’t told about the situation beforehand and had as little information as the residents.
“Our RA seems to know just as little as we do. She’s handling it as best as she can by trying to contact housing, but I don’t think they’ve been giving her the information she needs,” Standford said.
“Housing didn’t even inform the RAs of the situation. None of the RAs knew what was going on and it was such a last minute thing that nobody knew what to do,” Dodson said.