Mice found at Student Center Dunkin

Jeniece Roman General Assignment Reporter

The rumors are true; mice have been confirmed in the student center Dunkin Donuts, according to Brad Crerar, director of the Michael J. Adanti Student Center.

“There’s been mice,” said Crerar. “Students saw there were two mice actually in Dunkin.”

Crerar said the Dunkin Donuts in the student center was closed the day after the mice sighting and an exterminator was called to set traps for the mice and Facilities Operations filled up any hole where mice might enter.

Crerar said the exterminator caught the mice and he has not seen any since.

“When I talked to the facilities guys, that came over and helped with the blocking of the holes, [they said] it’s not just limited to the student center,” said Crerar. “It has been around campus.”

Crerar said mice have been an issue, this time of year, for the past 10 years, but this year he has seen an unusually high amount, as the student center is not the only building on campus with mice.

Justice Britt, a sophomore sociology major, said she and a friend saw a rodent in Connecticut Hall and she has decided not to eat there until the issue is resolved.

“My friend and I were at Conn and I was waiting by the stir-fry and I turned my head and saw a rat run by the cereal bowls,” said Britt. “When we tried to tell one of the workers, and she seemed unbothered that there was a rat in the dining hall. When we told her to tell the manager she acted like she didn’t want to.”

Crerar said he cannot confirm whether Connecticut Hall has mice, but at the student center, mice are a part of the regular maintenance of the building each year, though students have not reported seeing them in the past.

“Every year, this time of year,” said Crerar, “As the weather starts to drop outside, we always have to be conscious of the mice coming in. That’s been happening for the 10 years we’ve been here.”

According to the Global Food Safety Resource website, one way to prevent mice infestation is to make the facility is sufficiently sealed and that there are no other areas of potential entry such as doors, windows or cracks in the foundation walls.

Crerar said because it is cold and the mice want to go somewhere warm, there is always a problem with mice, but this year there are significantly more.

“Part of the problem is we leave the loading dock doors open at times. So we corrected that problem,” said Crerar.

The State of Connecticut Department of Public Health conducted a health inspection report of the food service at the student center; it received a rating of 84, which is considered passing.

Becky Kuzmich, a junior communications major, said the quality of food, availability, long lines, poor quality of service from the food service workers – are all issues students deal with.

“The goal is to make Chartwells more aware that student are upset about food service,” said Kuzmich. “We hope that they will take the right steps and make changes and food service better.”

The Student Government Association created the #SCSUChartwellsProbs hashtag, according to Kuzmich an SGA member, an open forum was held for students to voice their concerns regarding food service. Kuzmich said 70 to 80 people attended and the biggest complaints were the lines at Dunkin Donuts, the quality of food at Connecticut Hall, and the helpfulness of the workers.

“Students were just kind of fed up with how things were going,” said Kuzmich. “So [student government] created the hashtag in order to bring attention to the issues surrounding food service on campus.”

Crerar said he and the Chartwells employees have seen the hashtag; when students bring up an issue to him he reacts to it immediately.

“I get those comments to me, when students are waiting in line at Dunkin and at the counter there’s a woman on her cellphone. Or they’re standing at the counter and that person turns around and says, ‘Sorry I’m on break,’ and leaves. It happens and I know it happens,” said Crerar.                  

The university is currently working with Chartwells on plans to move the counters to the seating area and adding three registers to accommodate the large amount of daily customers Dunkin Donuts receives, according to Crerar.

“Dunkin Donuts is a mess right now,” said Crerar. “A mess in the sense that it was designed to handle about 600 people a day. We’re doing about 1,300 people a day.”

Crerar said Southern tries to stay out of the contract negotiations between Chartwells and the Local 217 union, but on occasion the quality of service that some employees provide is reflective of their frustration.

“I know many of the employees and many of them are very, very, very good,” said Crerar. “There are a few that may get annoyed and not work up the part and not work up their capability.”

According to Crerar, the food service workers have known about the possible layoffs in contract negotiations for about two and a half years. He said he blames the quality of service on management and there should be some policing done about the union employees. Crerar said in the past students have joined in the protests, but now they do not want anything to do with it.

“The students don’t want to get involved,” said Crerar. “The students need to do their work. The students want to get up to Dunkin Donuts, get their cup of coffee and breakfast and get out of there.”

Photo Credit: Palmer Piana – Photo Editor

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