Students complain of fall semester mouse infestation in Foothill

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Ethan Epstein/Senior Staff

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During the fall 2016 semester, Foothill, a campus residence hall, received multiple reports of mice in student rooms, which had damaged several students’ property.

After the complaints last fall, the Foothill housing administration began setting traps and sealing points of entry to address the infestation. Though campus representatives and residents say that the infestation has now been controlled, some residents were unhappy with the slow campus response to the issue last semester and had to dispose of mice themselves.

“There was an issue last semester with mice at Foothill,”  said campus real estate spokesperson Christine Shaff. “It was addressed and there is no longer a problem,”

In early November 2016, Hovanes Tonoyan, a junior transfer student, found a dead rodent in his desk in Foothill.

Tonoyan said the dead rodent remained decomposing in the dorm room for more than a month. He contacted his RA and their supervisor, who offered him gloves and a trash bag while the housing’s maintenance tried to address the situation. But for fear of his health, Tonoyan did not dispose of the rodent himself.

After this experience, Tonoyan tried to cancel his housing contract, but because the deadline for cancellation had passed, his request was denied. Despite still having to pay spring rent for housing in Foothill, Tonoyan has since moved out.

Danny Chu, a current resident at Foothill, also commented on this mouse infestation and how it affected his housing situation and his experience at UC Berkeley. He said because of the amount of time it took him to hear from their RA and the housing management, he took it upon himself to deal with the infestation and had to personally procure mouse traps and poison.

“We caught a good dozen or so before they stopped coming,” Chu said in an email. “It was always something in my mind the whole period, thinking about what item the mice could chew through today.”

Contact Ambika Jaykrishna at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @a_jaykrishna.