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Drexel first-year dorms suffer sanitary issues | The Triangle

Drexel first-year dorms suffer sanitary issues

Photo by Lucas Tusinean | The Triangle

Rumors of infestations and lack of cleaning have spread over the last two quarters as first-year students have reported sanitary issues in Drexel University housing.

After speaking with a number of residents from the seven first-year dormitories, the Triangle determined that four of them have had issues with rodents and insects. The recently renovated Kelly Hall and the newest dorm, Millenium Hall, are reported to be clean and clear. Van Rensselaer Hall was said to be similarly clean, although some complaints were made related to its age, as it was built nearly a century ago.

Bentley Hall, built in a traditional style and renovated in 2019, has issues with what one resident referred to as a “family of mice” in its singular communal kitchen. While the resident that was interviewed did not feel particularly bothered by the uninvited guests, they did feel concerned “about the general sanitary condition of the dorms.” 

This sentiment was shared by residents in the neighboring dormitory, Towers Hall. While Towers and Bentley are both traditional, Towers maintains 13 communal kitchens and common rooms, as opposed to Bentley’s singular kitchen. The significant amount of common space in the building is thought to have contributed to sanitary issues, including a cockroach infestation which has caused some residents to reach for a bath towel to stuff under their door or a tupperware container to play the occasional game of “catch and release.”

Beyond the known infestations, residents of Bentley and Towers have both experienced times in which their bathrooms have been in what the aforementioned Bentley resident referred to as “absolutely unlivable states,” including a lack of toilet paper and paper towels and liquid on the floor. 

“I have never seen such an egregious amount of vomit,” recalled Daeja Burgess-Spears, a first-year fashion design major and resident of Towers describing the aftermath of one particularly gross incident in one of the communal kitchens of Towers. The kitchen remained uncleaned for three days. 

“It’s not an epidemic,” stated Ashton Stewart, a first-year resident of North Hall studying product design, describing his experience with cockroaches in their bathroom. “They’re not even prevalent, they’re just here, they’re just vibin’.” 

Another suite-style dormitory, the Race Street Residences has had numerous reports of mice spreading throughout the building. One resident reported once using a pool noodle to block the bottom of their door to attempt to keep their room safe from rodent paws.

The fact that infestations continue in some buildings despite there being no apparent correlation with size, style, or age makes the cause of the sanitary issues unclear. Millennium has more floors and just as much common space, if not more, than Towers, but is seemingly well cleaned. Both the newest and the oldest buildings are clean, but of the recently renovated, only one is well-maintained. The lack of a discernible factor points to human error.

Unlucky dorms may be suffering due to administrative errors among those in charge of maintaining those buildings. Alternatively, it could be the residents themselves that are not respecting their space and therefore suffering the consequences. In the end, the fight against dormitory pests is an ongoing battle that requires collective action from all parties that call Drexel housing their home.