Rodent becomes unexpected special on breakfast menu
The Santa Clara
May 3, 2018
Earth Day is meant to be spent amongst the elements. First-year Edie O’Connor got a taste of nature in the comfort of Benson on April 22.
While at breakfast, a rat fell from the ceiling about a foot behind O’Connor’s chair. First year Lily Whitters, sitting across from O’Connor, noticed and alerted her.
“That was not an experience I thought I would have in Benson,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor and Whitters watched as the rat moved, but then laid motionless. The Information Desk was notified, and Campus Safety officers came to the scene.
“Santa Clara University is not immune to this phenomenon and is seeing increases in rodent and insect activity across campus, in buildings both old and new,” said Sean Collins, Director of Environment, Health and Safety in a campus-wide email.
“We do live in a natural environment and the email that came out from us indicated we’re part of that environment,” Associate Vice President for Operations Chris Shay said. “Keeping pest control at the top of our list for protecting our buildings is incredibly important to us.”
The most recent similar occurrence happened about four years ago in Alameda Hall when it was still the university fine arts building, according to Shay.
When something like this instance occurs, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) goes into effect. The area is cordoned off, decontaminated and the “unwanted guest” is removed, according to Shay. For the university, pests include insects, small animals or vermin.
SOPs have been reissued so any person working in university facilities knows the best practices in prevention, reaction and cleanup.
Because of Benson’s expansion, the crews completing construction will take the same SOP used in this most recent instance into account. Keeping entrances to Benson open for a prolonged period of time is the likely culprit of why this situation occured.
“The weakest link of any system is always on the people that use the buildings,” Shay said. “Everybody has a role to play.”
Contact Meghan McLaughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.