Four students move out of FSK after rodent ‘concerns’

Media Credit: Charlie Lee | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Several students in Francis Scott Key Hall were relocated after reportedly seeing a rat in their room. University staff treated the room following the report.

Four students moved out of a room in Francis Scott Key Hall after they claimed they saw a rat in the room.

The students said they found evidence of a rodent, including droppings, in their room last month – the students now live in Munson Hall. University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt confirmed in an email that students in one room were recently relocated due to “concerns of a potential rodent” but that no rodent had been found.

“Staff treated the room and have not verified any reports of rodents in the room or the residence hall,” Hiatt said.

Hiatt added that the University applies preventive pest control measures to residence hall rooms and responds to complaints of pests on a case-by-case basis. He encouraged students wishing to report a pest problem in their residence hall to contact Fix-IT with their complaint.

Sara Gleysteen, the resident who first found the rat, emailed Facilities Services requesting to move out of the room on March 21, according to a copy of the email obtained by The Hatchet. A Facilities Services staffer assigned an exterminator to the room and said a GW Housing staffer would coordinate with the students regarding “a temporary housing option until the rodent is caught,” according to the email.

Allison Oakes, one of Gleysteen’s roommates, said her roommate saw three large “typical D.C. rats” in the room on March 17. The rats were scurrying out of the bathroom and ran underneath a bed, Oakes said.

They noticed rat droppings scattered across their room, including on one of the roommate’s bed and pillow, Oakes said. She said she found an overturned trash can in one of the rooms and chewed-up garbage scattered across the floor.

Oakes said a Facilities Services staff member examined the room and found stale rat droppings, but the exterminator was unable to find a hole in the wall that a rodent could use to enter or exit, Oakes said.

“We are paying so much for housing on a college campus,” Oakes said. “Please do not give me a room filled with rats.”

The rat population has increased in D.C. this year because of construction, an unseasonably warm winter and improper trash storage, according to a notice from the D.C. Department of Health.

During the 2010–2011 academic year, students in Fulbright Hall logged about 38 rodent-related complaints to Fix-It.

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