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Bugging Out in Campus Housing

by Emma Caughlan

Whether it’s a sticky door or a faulty outlet, students always have their grievances with their living space when moving back to school. It is the nature of college living as there are thousands of bed spaces on campus. I’m sure it is a daunting task to clean and prepare every single one for move-in day; things are bound to slip through the cracks.

However, there seems to be a new problem this year at Montclair State University: bugs.

And not just any bugs, but cockroaches. If you are a relatively normal person, this probably skeeves you out a bit. It certainly did when I heard it, especially because it seemed to be an issue in the Village at Montclair State, an apartment-like complex for upperclassmen and also my place of residence this year.

When I heard the rumors of roaches in the Village, I was concerned but not too stressed, since I hadn’t seen any evidence of them in my apartment. But sure enough, a couple of days later, I was working on campus when one of my roommates texted me saying we had a problem. This worried me, so I tried to call her but she didn’t answer.

She texted me a couple of hours later, saying it was all okay now and she would tell me later because she didn’t want to stress me out. I was already stressed so I told her to just spill the beans. Turns out, she had found a cockroach in our bathroom, clinging to her hair towel.

I felt terrible for her. No one likes roaches but this particular roommate despises bugs. She informed me that she promptly picked up the roach with several tissues, flushed it down the toilet and let Residence Life know what had happened.

Nothing was done that day but an exterminator was scheduled to check out our place the next day.

This visit from the exterminator happened when I was home with two of my other roommates. We were relieved to see him and hopeful that he would resolve any other potential issues.

However, our expectations weren’t exactly met. The exterminator spent about three minutes in our bathroom, said we were good to go and then quickly left.

One of my roommates asked him as he was leaving if we would have any more problems.

“Uh, no,” he said without even glancing at us. “Well, probably not. Well, if there is a problem, just tell them.”

With that, he was gone. We all looked at each other in confusion. It did not seem to be a thorough check, and he certainly did not seem entirely confident that there wouldn’t be any more problems.

Honestly, I am not surprised there are roaches in campus housing, and it’s not just because thousands of messy college students live in them. Many of these rooms weren’t lived in last year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and when the people move out, the critters move in.

With that being said, I will not condemn Montclair State for having a roach problem. But I must say I was not thrilled with my personal experience of how it was handled.

I am no exterminator, nor do I consider myself an expert on cockroaches, but I at least would have checked the kitchen. Luckily, we have not found any more evidence of bugs in our apartment, but I doubt this will be the last time cockroaches find their way into the Village this year.

If you see one in your residence, contact Residence Life right away; I certainly hope you have a better experience than I did.

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