By Lindsay Scarola
On Jan. 20, Ziegler Hall residents moved back in after break, unsuspecting of the surprise they were about to discover.
While they were away, mice had invaded the residence hall’s third floor.
Sophia Tauer, a freshman actuarial science major, mentioned that she first saw tiny droppings.
“I was debating just cleaning it up and not saying anything about it, because I didn’t want it to be a big issue,” Tauer said. “Then I saw it was all over my roommate’s desk as well, and there was a lot of it, so obviously it was an ongoing issue.”
Because other dorms in the building had the same problem, students put in work orders for room inspections and mouse traps. Residents started to stuff towels under their doors in order to prevent more mice from invading. While this worked for some dorms, there were exceptions.
Charlotte Graham, a freshman elementary education major, was lying in her bed one afternoon working on assignments when she heard a rustling noise coming from under her bed. When she looked up, there was a mouse in front of her door.
“When I screamed it ran into my closet,” Graham said. “I called my boyfriend in a panic to come help me, and he came quickly with some of his friends to help me get it out [of] my dorm room.”
As her boyfriend, his friends and her neighbor attempted to catch the mouse, Graham waited in the hall. When she was trying to calm down, a mouse ran over her foot and down the hall.
Seeing a live mouse in her dorm affected Graham tremendously.
“I can’t sit in my room without worrying about something in here with me,” she said. “As someone who experiences episodes of anxiety, the anxiety I have been facing has been continuous, since this occurrence caused me to have difficulty sleeping and difficulty to complete my academics.”
That night, Graham’s family picked her up and drove her home to Long Island for the rest of the week.
Having uninvited guests scurrying around the third floor has made many residents overthink every noise they hear during the night.
Parents have been posting on the Rider University Parents Network group on Facebook, expressing their worry regarding their children finding droppings and more mice in their dorm rooms.
With many concerns rising because of the mice on the third floor, Mike Reca, vice president for facilities and university operations, sent an email to a concerned parent of a resident.
The email outlined the actions taken regarding the issue from Jan. 26-29. During that time frame, dorm rooms were inspected, cracks in walls and pipe chases were sealed and staff made daily rounds to check for any new mice.
By Jan. 29, the mice were gone and traps left in place. According to an email sent out that day, an exterminator inspected the residence hall, while facilities continued to monitor the area.