A number of Loyola students were surprised by an unexpected visitor to their University 101 class on Sept. 27 — a mouse.
Michael Lemenager, an 18-year-old first-year, said he and his classmates were in their classroom, located in the basement of Campion Hall, when they saw the rodent.
Lemenager said students were listening to their instructor’s lecture when the mouse darted out of the corner of the room, ran along the wall for a few seconds before jumping back out of sight.
“Everyone kind of jumped or screamed for a second, and got on chairs,” the biology major said.
Kennidy Polcyn, another first-year who saw the mouse, said the entire class was surprised.
“I was a little startled by it,” the 18-year-old said. “My classmates and I, we pulled our backpacks up on our laps. [The mouse] didn’t even look that big, but we all had a similar reaction of not wanting it to touch our stuff and/or us.”
Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the only instance of rodents at the Lake Shore Campus this semester. Across campus, there have been three claims of mice sightings in dorms reported to Loyola’s facilities management — the department that handles maintenance in campus buildings — officials said.
Campion Hall, which is a first-year dorm for honors students and also serves as a classroom space for certain honors classes, had reports of mice sightings on Sept. 7 and Sept. 25. Canisius Hall, an upperclassmen dorm, had a reported sighting on Sept. 18, according to Kana Henning, Loyola’s associate vice president for facilities.
Henning said mouse sightings were reported in a community space — a common area where students can hang out — in Campion, and in a dorm room in Canisius.
There was also a report for the upperclassmen dorm Georgetown Hall, but it was later taken back when the student who reported it admitted there wasn’t actually a mouse sighted, Henning said.
The report from Canisius was for a hole that the student thought was caused by a mouse, but no mouse was found when pest control maintenance inspected, according to Henning. Campion was the only dorm that had verified mouse sightings, according to Henning.
Henning said maintenance workers responded to both complaints in Campion two days after getting the reports, and worked with the pest control vendor to get rid of mice during their routine twice a week visits.
“We work with a pest control vendor who inspects the site, looks for evidence of mice activity,” Henning said. “[We] treat appropriately, and continue to monitor the area for a period of time, looking for any additional evidence of activity.”
Some causes for mice activity inside residence halls include lack of general cleanliness and the change to colder weather, Henning said.
“Leaving lots of crumbs, food products laying around, that can obviously be a cause, especially too when it starts to get a little bit cooler out, [mice] may look for a warmer temperature,” Henning said. “We always encourage students to make sure they’re not leaving food or crumbs or anything like that on the floor.”
Kyra Fuller, a first-year student who lives in Campion, was also in class when she and other students saw the mouse in the basement of Campion. She doesn’t think the cleanliness of the building is an issue.
“I don’t think any of [Campion] is that bad, [but] it’s definitely not the nicest dorm,” the 18-year-old said.
Polcyn, a global studies major, also said she doesn’t think the Campion basement is an unclean space.
“Overall, it’s pretty decent,” Polcyn said. “I don’t think it’s disgusting, I have two classes there.”
Henning said the department of facilities isn’t concerned about any potential health risks in these particular cases of mice sightings.
“If droppings are spotted, [they] are what could potentially cause sickness, but I’m not aware of any droppings that were discovered in any of the dorms,” Henning said.