By Lauren Diaz
On Aug. 24, the College welcomed the 1,573 members of the Class of 2027 to campus. As the first-year students moved in and began to acclimate themselves to the College, they participated in the numerous welcome week activities, sampled the food that campus has to offer and developed friendships with other students from all over the state.
However, Welcome Week and the days that followed were not without its challenges for new students. It was quickly discovered that Travers Hall, which is home to a sizable portion of the freshmen class, was also home to some unwelcome guests.
Travers was hosting a nest of yellowjackets, specifically on the high side of the building.
Freshman English major Ava Pellegrino and undeclared arts and communications major Hope McHugh live on the fifth floor of Travers Hall, and they have been dealing with the yellowjackets before they had even began living on campus.
“We first noticed it when we were moving our stuff in,” McHugh said. “We had found four dead ones.”
McHugh went on to tell The Signal that in the days that would follow, they would find anywhere from three to five yellowjackets a day in their room. She believes that they keep entering from a faulty seal on their windows.
Between the roommates, they had put in four work orders combined. Pellegrino tried to call someone in an attempt for someone to come fix the problem, to little avail.
At about 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 31, residents of Travers Hall received a text alert from the department of Residential Education and Housing, which read: “Due to the need to address a yellowjacket nest on the exterior of the building, we need students on the high side of the building to close their windows fully by 7 am tomorrow, Friday 9/1.”
The typical form of treatment for exterminating yellowjackets and wasps of that nature is using an aerosol spray that has a large range, to allow for safe extermination. Extermination processes can be handled by an exterminator, or DIY-ed, according to Forbes.com.
The next day, at around 1 p.m., the residents were alerted that the College had “completed treatment of the area, but recommends students on the high side keep their windows closed until 3 pm to avoid contact with any yellowjackets that attempt to return to the area.”
The results of the treatment proved to be a mixed bag. Some residents were satisfied with the results of the treatment, and others believe the issue has only gotten worse.
McHugh and Pellegrino agree that the condition of their room has suffered even more than in the days before the treatment. They are still facing problems posed by the wasps.
“Wasps were very few and far between until the Friday before Labor Day,” Pellegrino told us. “The situation got much worse after they had supposedly been dealt with.”
“After the treatment, we had 11 yellowjackets come into our room in about 10 hours,” McHugh said.
Pellegrino, McHugh and several other students living in the building have since moved into a temporary dorm arrangement until the situation in their original room assignment calms down. It is currently unclear to residents if the housing department will take any further action.