Fleas on campus

Despite administrative efforts to exterminate fleas spotted in the math building, Room 4 still remains closed due to lingering flea problems. Officials said they hired exterminators quickly after the infestation was discovered.

Recently, rumors have been circulating among math students that the math building has been a little more crowded than usual—with fleas.

Megan Kingsley, UNA junior, said she walked to her math class the week before Labor Day in a state of bliss. After waiting outside her classroom five minutes, she texted a friend.

“She told me that 10 minutes before class, the teacher told everyone class was cancelled because the room was infested with fleas,” Kingsley said. “I was angered that there was no note on the door, and I didn’t like the idea of possibly catching Lyme disease, but at the same time I was happy that class was cancelled. Class met the next day in the same room.”

Kingsley said she was shocked that there was no method of communicating with the mass of students attending math classes and “expected the school to send out a LionAlert, email or note on the door at the very least.”

Like Kingsley, sophomore Katie Goldsmith went to class only to discover it had been moved to Bibb Graves.

“It would have been good to be informed by the administration rather than through word-of-mouth, but I do understand why they want to keep that kind of stuff secret,” Goldsmith said. “It’s similar to a lice outbreak—you don’t want that information being spread around, but if the population could be affected by it, you need to let them know.”

Goldsmith said the second floor of Lafayette Hall had recently encountered an abundance of fleas and could only assume they came from the math building.

“I didn’t even know about fleas being in our building until my roommate told me they sprayed in our room and we had to wear shoes in our own room—again, it’s a matter of a lack of communication with the people directly affected,” Goldsmith said.

Math Department Chair Cynthia Stenger described the removal of the math building fleas, contrary to campus rumors.

“We were moving desks in the rooms when we found fleas in Rooms 4 and 6, after which we promptly sent out emails to the teachers with attached fliers to put on the doors as to their class relocations,” Stenger said. “We called the exterminator that day and had the rooms shut and locked for at least 24 hours before any students were allowed back in.”

While Room 4 is still currently closed to students due to remaining flea problems, Kingsley said this issue is not about school hygiene or the fleas themselves, rather an administrative shortcoming regarding the welfare of the students.