I can relate to the students’ concerns reported in Jessica Spencer’s article about the plague of “Unwanted Houseguests” in Commonwealth Hall. I lived in Commonwealth during my 1978-79 freshman year. One winter afternoon I was on the third floor (using the washing machines) when several campus firemen rushed into the room. Students on one of the upper floors had reported smoke coming from the trash chute. When the firemen used sledge hammers to break a large hole in the wall, thousands of dead cockroaches fell through the wall onto the floor of the room.
This avalanche of insects continued for several minutes… until the pile of carcasses reached the firemen’s knees. These bugs had been overcome by the smoke and fallen from the walls of the trash chute above (20 floors).
Literally, there had to be over 30-40 feet of dead roaches piled up inside that trash chute when the firemen broke through the wall. It took several hours for the maintenance men to cart the dead insects off. Having spent a semester in the building, I knew it had roaches.
But, no way could I have ever imagined that there were so many insects that dozens of trash cans would be needed to cart their dead bodies off. The next semester I moved off campus.
My experience was 28 years ago. I loved my time at Eastern, but if I were a prospective student today,
I would have concerns about living in campus housing- when something simple like insect control has not improved in the last three decades.
Class of 1982