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Students in Rieber Hall express concern about rodents in dorm area

Rieber Hall is pictured. Residents in the building recently complained about seeing rodents. (Nicolas Greamo/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Felicia Keller

Dec. 7, 2023 5:02 p.m.

Students living in Rieber Hall said they have seen rats and mice in their dorms during fall quarter.

In an emailed statement, UCLA Housing said it has received reports of rodents in some residential buildings. It added in the statement that rodents are a common issue in urban environments and that it is addressing the issue by sending members of housekeeping to the area and bringing in Animal and Insect Pest Management to set traps.

Felisha Kuo, a first-year biochemistry student living on the third floor of Rieber Hall, said a rat came into her dorm room earlier this year. She added that while she is not too stressed by the presence of rats in the building, her roommates are more bothered by their presence.

“It is a safety hazard, so it’d be better if they weren’t here,” Kuo said.

Jane Collette, a first-year environmental science student who lives on the same floor as Kuo, said she was not happy to see rodents on the floor. She added that she saw a mouse run across her room after finding chewed and unwrapped cough drops in the drawer underneath her bed.

She said she has also heard of mice sightings in other rooms on her floor.

After speaking to their resident assistant, some students reported the sightings to the front desk at Rieber Court and were offered emergency housing but turned down the offer. The students added that they were not aware of anyone who had decided to move rooms.

“When we first heard that there were mice, we were scared,” Collette said. “They offered us an emergency room, but that just seems a little extreme for one tiny mouse.”

Kaitlin Dizon, a first-year physiological science student who is Collette’s roommate, said in response to their complaints, UCLA Housing also sent an exterminator who left traps under their beds. Collette added that the exterminator left the traps in their room while no one was in the dorm.

While none of the students interviewed said they have seen rodents since then, Dizon said she has heard of instances where the traps have caught rodents down the hall.

Some students have expressed dissatisfaction with UCLA’s response to the issue. Angela Ledesma-Grattarola, a first-year political science student who resides on the same floor as Dizon, said a friend of hers who lives down the hall saw a rat in her room.

Ledesma-Grattarola said she and a friend attempted to catch the rats themselves but failed. She added that she believes more should be done by UCLA to get rid of the rats.

“I honestly think that we pay way too much for there to not be someone actually physically getting the rat and taking it out or something actively done about it,” Ledesma-Grattarola said.

She added that she hopes UCLA Housing is able to handle the issue over winter break while students are gone.

Collette and Ledesma-Grattarola both said they have not received any formal notice from UCLA about the existence of rodents in the building.

Dizon added that since she and Collette saw the rodents, they have been more careful about cleaning up food and have refrained from using the drawer. Kuo added that she has tried to keep her dorm room clean since hearing about the rats.

“It’s frustrating because it is an issue,” Ledesma-Grattarola said. “It’s a sanitary issue, and I feel something more should be done about it.”

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Felicia Keller
Keller is a 2023-2024 assistant Sports editor on the men’s soccer, swim and dive, women’s water polo, and softball beats. She was previously a contributor on the swim and dive and women’s water polo beats and a contributor in the News and Photo sections. She is also a second-year sociology student.
Keller is a 2023-2024 assistant Sports editor on the men’s soccer, swim and dive, women’s water polo, and softball beats. She was previously a contributor on the swim and dive and women’s water polo beats and a contributor in the News and Photo sections. She is also a second-year sociology student.
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