BY VICTORIA DAVIS | STAFF WRITER
Though many people squeal in delight at seeing Mickey Mouse at Disneyland, Point Loma Nazarene Students, more specifically in Goodwin Hall, squeal with far less happiness at seeing the mice which have decided to invade the campus dorms.
The first mouse sighting took place on November 1st in the dorm of Drew Halvorson and her two roommates, Kelsey Castillo and Halle Brick. Drew says that she was in bed when she suddenly saw a small, furry creature dart out from underneath her bed and into Halle’s closet.
“I told her not to panic,” said Drew, “but that I thought I just saw a mouse run into her closet.”
Drew got up onto one of their room chairs and timidly opened Halle’s closet door. Quick as a flash, the mouse scurried out of the closet, under the girls’ room door, and into the dorm of Priscilla Auer, Sierra LaMotte, and Rebecca Martinez.
“I was in the shower at the time,” said Priscilla. “All I heard was blood-curdling screams.” Priscilla says she came out to find her two roommates standing on their beds “in a panic.”
After reporting the mouse matter to their RA, Melissa Fox, and then to Kayleigh Hofer, the Resident Hall Director, Campus Facilities was contacted and humane mousetraps were set up around the dorms. The traps are small card-board squares with strong adhesive inside to catch mice scurrying through it. These traps have caused some problems for the girls in Goodwin.
“It’s just so sad because we can hear them squeaking when they get caught in the traps,” says Sierra. Maintenance told the girls, when a mouse was caught, to put it in a garbage bag and throw the bag into the dumpster where the mouse would eventually die. This concept did not sit right with Drew.
“I just couldn’t bring myself to do it,” she confessed. “It just seemed wrong.” Instead of killing the mice, Drew, Kelsey and Halle began to set the little creatures free on the hill in the south side parking lot by pouring canola oil on the mice to release them from the trap’s adhesive. The three roommates are described as “The Real Heroes of Goodwin” by their fellow hall mates Priscilla, Sierra, and Rebecca.
Unfortunately, the three girl’s acts of heroism did little to help the mice infestation.
“They just kept coming back,” said Drew. Eventually more drastic measures had to be taken. Last Tuesday, a maintenance man was contacted by campus facilities to caulk the holes in the piping above the closets of the Goodwin dorms.
“We were so sure that’s where they were coming from,” said Drew. “Halle has had all the food in her closet eaten by mice and after the pipes were cocked I could no longer hear their little feet running around in the ceiling.”
Sierra LaMotte also reported having previously heard the furry pests in the walls.
However, on Wednesday another mouse was found in unit D. Drew says the residents brought the mouse to her asking if she would set it free. The young heroine of Goodwin declined, knowing that if she set this mouse free it would only come right back like all the others. At that moment, Brandyn Roach, the RA from the boy’s floor, came and took the mouse placing it in a plastic bag. He then placed the bag on the ground and dropped a large rock on top of the mouse, according to her killing it instantly.
“It sucks that we have to do this but mice carry diseases,” admits Drew. “If we don’t get rid of them all of us could get seriously sick.”
In the efforts to protect the wellbeing of the students, RA, Melissa, says Kayleigh Hofer has been working closely with Campus facilities to figure out where exactly all these mice are coming from. Though Campus Facilities has had no luck thus far finding the source of the infestation, Director Bruce Kunkel has one theory.
“We are blaming it all on El Nino,” Bruce jokes. Chestine Honeycutt, who works the campus facility’s front desk, has been at PLNU for over 20 years and has never seen anything like the pest problem this year.
Just this semester, Finch also had a mice problem so catastrophic the whole building had to be evacuated and all the girls were moved to Nease. Since then, there have been two snakes spotted in the lounge of Goodwin, a coyote just outside the dorms, and an invasion of tarantulas and scorpions in Young. Perhaps Bruce is right. Maybe El Nino is the only logical explanation.
In the meantime, RD Kayleigh Hofer has ordered all Goodwin doors to be kept closed in an attempt to control the infestation and possibly discover the mice mother ship.
“We really should just get a squadron of cats,” says Melissa. “It would save us a lot of work.” This may not be a terrible option considering Priscilla, Sierra, and Rebecca have yet to find the small mouse that ran into their room that first day.
“It’s almost like having an unwanted pet.” Says Priscilla. “It’s just become an annoying part of the everyday.” Sarah Piyle, the girl’s honorary fourth roommate, has even named the missing mouse, “Pedro.”