More than a month after they were first discovered, there are still fleas in a Few Quad residence hall, leaving residents complaining about a lack of response from Housing and Residence Life.
The GG101T bathroom, which residents were first told to avoid Oct. 26, has been closed again to deal with a “reemergence of fleas,” Few Quad Residence Coordinator Jordan Viars wrote in an email to Few residents Nov. 21. However, the opossum that previously took up residence in Few now seems to be gone.
Viars’ email, which was obtained by The Chronicle, stated that the bathroom would be closed until after Thanksgiving break. It was still closed as of Dec. 3.
“This action is being taken so that we may further investigate what is causing this on-going issue and work to resolve it,” Viars wrote. He urged residents to report “any activity [they] believe to be flea-related” to HRL.
In addition, a flea trap has been in the GG102T women’s bathroom since at least Nov. 22, but a photograph of the trap obtained by The Chronicle did not appear to show any fleas in it.
“HRL continues to partner with our contractors to remedy this issue,” wrote Joe Gonzalez, assistant vice president of student affairs and dean for residential life, in an email to The Chronicle. “Despite several treatments, the GG101T bathroom is closed due to the on-going reappearance of fleas. It will remain closed until this is ended.”
He wrote that he did not believe there were fleas in any student rooms at the moment, and that there were flea traps “in all rooms in this area to monitor the situation.”
Gonzalez added that HRL has not yet identified the source of the fleas “despite several inspections of the tunnels and scoping the interior of the building.”
“Identifying the source remains an important step in fully resolving this issue,” he wrote.
Gonzalez told The Chronicle this month that the fleas could have come from the opossum that had moved into the dorm. He wrote in an email to residents that students who had a pet in their rooms should report it to HRL and would not be punished.
Junior Cameron Oglesby, who lives in Few GG, said that HRL never came to inspect her room after she reported fleas.
Oglesby emailed HRL Nov. 2 to report that she had received flea bites on her feet and ankles, according to a copy of the email obtained by The Chronicle. Viars emailed her Nov. 4 to say that staff would inspect her room, but Oglesby said that nobody ever came.
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Viars directed The Chronicle to talk to Gonzalez about this issue, but Gonzalez wrote that he did not have information with him about specific rooms in a Nov. 26 email to The Chronicle. When asked about Oglesby’s situation after Thanksgiving break, Gonzalez did not address the question in another email response to The Chronicle.
“We work to respond to all reported concerns about fleas the same or next day,” he wrote in a Nov. 26 email.
As she waited, Oglesby took care of the situation herself by spraying the floor with Raid Ant and Roach Killer, which she wrote that she was planning to do in her original email to Viars.
“Personally, I’m pissed that it happened at all,” Oglesby said of the situation. She said that the flea bites swelled up and “hurt a lot.”
Oglesby added that she felt administration was too “nonchalant” about the situation, although she was less concerned about the lack of a visit because the Raid eliminated the fleas.
Recently, residents have been venting their frustration with messages pinned to a bulletin board in the hall.
“Welcome back fleas!!” one of the messages reads. Another says “Flea Class of 2024!!”
However, Few residents can breathe a sigh of relief on one point. The opossum that stalked the ceilings seems to be gone. Senior Grace Smith, who lived in one of the rooms under its temporary home, said she has not heard it recently.
However, junior Valeria Silombria, who lived in the other room affected by the opossum, was not taking any chances. She has moved to a room in 300 Swift, she said.
“It’s a better living situation,” Silombria said. “You don’t have to worry about the opossum or anything.”
She said she was grateful that HRL “did everything they could” and arranged the move.
Stefanie Pousoulides contributed reporting.
Editor’s note: Oglesby is also a staff reporter for The Chronicle.