BC Peace Officer on a world wide tour
Kingsman articles with their permission. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.
BC’s little bedbugs
By Kingsman Editor Yelena Mandenberg
An alarm was raised on campus Wednesday afternoon after a student studying in the library café noticed what was later determined to be a large adult bedbug on his desk.
The student notified Café employees and the bug was killed right away, according to manager of the Library Café, Danielle Lahmeyer. It was not known at first if this was a bed bug because of its large size. The insect was stuck to a piece of tape in order to be inspected by the exterminator when they got there. Brooklyn College facilities responded right away, confirmed that it was a begbug, and a full examination of the Café was performed. No additional bedbugs were found in the Café and pest control deemed the bed bug as a “straggler,” confirming that there was no full infestation.
Bedbugs are known scientifically as Cimex lectularius, which is a term that usually refers to species of insects that prefer to feed on human blood. The term bedbug comes from the insect’s preferred habitat of beds and other areas where people sleep. They are mostly active at night while their victims are sleep and unaware of the little blood-suckers. Their bites usually cause a skin rash which is easily treated. Bedbugs are not known for carrying disease, so they are more annoying than they are dangerous.
Bedbugs mate and reproduce quickly once they have formed a habitat, and can spread like wildfire in big cities. New York city has been going through a bed bug epidemic for the last few months and many stores were shut down for some time because the critters were discovered there. Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, Forever 21 and a few others were found to be infected along with some movies theaters, such as the AMC Lowe’s which wound up having to replace all of their seating to combat the problem.
This means that Brooklyn College, and any college is particularly susceptible to the problem. There are nearly 20,000 students that shuffle in and out of the college, mostly on public transportation, making it really easy to carry a “straggler” onto campus.
Brooklyn College went through the proper measures to keep students safe from the bedbugs, even if students were not told of the danger right away. “We didn’t tell the students because we did not want a panic,” says Lahmeyer. “Had there been an actual infestation students would be notified and the proper measures taken,” she continued.
The Café was shut down by 3 p.m. and remained closed overnight, much to the dismay of students that use their services, for a complete fumigation of the entire café. The café was inspected once more on Thursday morning before re-opening at 8:00 a.m. “They checked the entire café and did not find anything else so we re-opened the café that morning. They did leave bug monitors so we can keep checking ourselves, and they remain clean,” Lahmeyer declared.
CUNY was notified about the incident, and Lahmeyer spoke to the head of the Department of Health Specialists herself, and “he confirmed that we were taking proper precautions and handled the situation correctly.”
Due to the high traffic of the Library Café, it is usually a very-well maintained place. Pest control checks the café at least twice a week and employees are urged to keep the area clean. “The entire café is cleaned and vacuumed every day, bathrooms are cleaned twice a day, and we take precautions because we are on the first floor, right above the basement. If we ever see something out of the ordinary, we call facilities right away to come in even if they were not supposed to that day.” The café does 2-3 major cleaning sessions each semester, when they close down and clean every inch of the area.
A few students who wished to remain unnamed mimicked each other in their sentiments that Brooklyn College is not clean and they doubt if they are ever checked for infestations, but school officials maintain that the entire campus is thoroughly inspected several times a week and its high-traffic areas are cleaned every day, if not twice a day.
The Library Café is one of these areas. “There will be days when the Café is messier than other, especially during midterms or finals season… we get torn up completely, but for the most part we clean constantly,” affirms Lahmeyer, who is also an admitted germaphobe.
She concludes by saying, “I am proud of the way Brooklyn College handled this situation. We had at least 5-6 people from pest control down in the café almost as soon as we called. This was an isolated incident and we are clean now, though we will continue to be on our guard.”
West Quad Center
Damage in West Quad and Library Keeps Students Snowed Out
By Kingsman Editor Yelena Mandenberg where it was first printed
While we were all at home enjoying hot chocolate and staring at the outside world only through a window, the Brooklyn College campus was busy being snowed in. With no students trampling over the snow to get to class, the campus looked like a winter wonderland…. The entire quad a plane of white, untouched, snow. However, as well all know, snow, for as pretty and fun as it is, can cause some serious damage, like it did in both the West Quad building and the Library.
The West Quad building suffered from a leaky roof all throughout the break. As the contractor Brooklyn College had hired was cleaning off the snow on the roof in order to work on it, some snow removal equipment was able to damage a glass pane on the southeast corner of the practice gym. The glass did shatter but there was no report of damage estimates or even if anything was damaged due to this accident.
Also this week, an e-mail advisory was sent out by Chief Librarian and Executive Director of Academic Information Technology, Stephanie Walker, stating that there was a flood in the library that damaged many of Brooklyn College’s archival collections. She says, “we lost several hundred archival boxes, and the collections therein had to be quickly removed and dried. They must now be cleaned, repaired, restored to their proper organization, and rehoused in new archival boxes. We have been able to clear most of the rooms where we had initially spread collections to dry, and we have centralized the work in the LaGuardia Reading Room – the only appropriate space large enough for this work to be done. Staff are working very hard to get the collections restored to a state where they are once again available to the many students and faculty who use them for their teaching and research.”
While there is work going on in that part of the library, the LaGuardia Reading room will be closed, so students who find themselves usuals in the library may have to find a new place to study, at least temporarily.