Ganędagǫ: Residential Hall opened its doors in fall 2021 with a goal of providing undergraduate students a clean, sleek living space, modern aesthetic and collaborative environment. But as students return to their dorms this spring, some Ganędagǫ residents found that mice had made themselves at home in their rooms.
The infestation follows two reports of arson at the residence hall that occured in mid December over winter break, adding to the string of stressful events that Ganędagǫ: residents have had to navigate.
When Finn Kennedy ’25 returned to Ithaca on Jan. 23, he expected to settle back into his room and prepare for the upcoming spring semester. What he did not expect, however, was a mouse in his room.
“I was like ‘wait, what’s that noise coming from my trash can?’” Kennedy said. “I quickly turned on my flashlight, and I saw a mouse jump out of my trash can and fall on the floor.”
Some students, including Kennedy, did not mind the appearance of the mice. According to Kennedy, he and his suitemates took the situation with humor.
“I thought he was cute,” Kennedy said. “My friends and I even named him Remy, the rat from the movie Ratatouille, and we left out a cookie for him.”
However, other students took the dorm’s mice sightings to be a more serious problem.
On Jan. 30, Ganędagǫ: resident Camila Monter ’25, who has a rodent allergy, noticed something was wrong in her room.
“After moving in, I started sneezing and coughing a lot,” Monter said. “The next day, I saw a mouse running into my roommate’s closet. At that point, I realized that the mice were the cause of my allergic reaction.”
In an email to The Sun, Tim Blair, executive director of Housing & Residential Life, wrote that his department is taking action to address the infestation at Ganędagǫ: including placing traps in the affected portions of the building’s first floor.
According to Blair, the mouse infestation partially stems from issues of cleanliness and food management within the residence hall.
“This situation provided a clear reminder of how important it is for residents to take trash from their rooms to the provided dumpsters promptly and regularly, to keep any perishables in refrigerators and to keep non-perishable food in airtight storage bins or other suitable containers,” Blair wrote.
The high volume of food in residence halls can be attributed to spring 2022 move-in policy changes that resulted in dining halls closing for the first two weeks of the semester. As a result, many students resorted to eating in their dorm rooms.
Several students, including Monter, disagree that messy eating habits created the problem.
“I consider myself very neat and organized,” Monter said. “My roommate and I would never leave food on the floor.”
Some Ganędagǫ: residents also expressed frustration with the lack of solutions put forward by the University. According to Kennedy, the University could have acted much faster to accommodate the needs of the students who were disturbed by the mouse infestation.
“I think the University should have acted more swiftly instead of just telling the students to be cleaner,” Kennedy said. “Some of the students received appropriate measures [mice traps] against the mouse infestation more than two weeks after they raised the issue.”
The mouse infestation at Ganędagǫ: also resulted in high stress and financial strain on students who needed to find temporary housing until the issue was resolved.
“I had to try to find a place to stay while trying to manage the first week of classes … Everything from having to stay a night at the hotel and decontaminating my sheets and clothes were at my own expense,” Monter said. “It was taking a toll on me.”