Saturday, April 29

Throwback Thursday: A tale of unwelcome furry friends in UCLA buildings


(Daily Bruin archives)

(Daily Bruin archives)


People often bring their dogs onto campus, and many students enjoy taking a break from their impending finals and projects (and Daily Bruin responsibilities) to pet them – myself included.

But some other furry friends aren’t as welcome.

A March 6, 2003, issue of the Daily Bruin reported that people had discovered rats living in Dodd, Haines and Kinsey halls. The affair instigated a little game of cat-and-mouse as UCLA Facilities Management tried to use mouse traps to catch the rodents, with mixed results.

Facilities Management first attempted to catch the rats with glue traps, but they would gnaw themselves free, leaving a trail of hair and blood. That was enough to get management to switch strategies. They tried hired carpenters to seal holes in walls where rats could enter rooms, but even that didn’t work. Some graduate students ended up purchasing and setting up traps themselves after complaints to facilities went unanswered.

Undergraduates also expressed disapproval at having to share their classrooms with unexpected guests. Some reported changing their routes to class to avoid the rats, and one incident even forced students to stand on chairs.

Rats are known for carrying various diseases and are generally a sign of unhygienic facilities. They can also leave droppings and cause significant structural damages to buildings by gnawing on wires and beams.

And let’s face it: Finding a big-tailed, beady-eyed rodent casually walking to class with you would certainly catch anyone off guard. But apparently there had been a rodent problem since at least the previous May, causing Facilities Management to come under fire for poor handling of the situation.

The campus still faces some cleanliness issues – conditions in dining halls and restrooms have raised some concerns recently. Fortunately, there haven’t been any rodent infestations in recent years – but perhaps we can thank UCLA’s feral cat population for that.

And as a warning to the messy eaters among us, the rats were reportedly attracted to the free food and shelter they found in food left in rooms, especially cookies and candy wrappers. Our editor in chief has been known to leave Jolly Ranchers unattended in the Daily Bruin office, but so far we’ve been safe from unexpected visits.

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Chris Campbell is the current Daily Bruin Opinion editor. He previously served as Radio Director and as a Radio contributor. He writes about everything, but focuses on Westwood and city issues.


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