Courtesy of BugbusterUSA

Courtesy of BugbusterUSA

Sara Weir
HEAD COPY EDITOR

Recently, Turner Hall has been dealing with a growing termite infestation and is scheduled to be fumigated for termites after the commencement in May as part of a series of fumigations for termites across campus.

 Sophomore and Turner first floor resident, Noah Garcia, said that one of the men’s bathrooms on his floor used to have termites constantly crawling under the door. He saw some in his room, as well. “When I came back from Spring break, I had a bunch near my desk in the corner [of the room],” said Garcia. 

“It’s a dorm; it happens,” said sophomore and first floor resident Steven Jun, “But it just got increasingly worse throughout the semester and throughout the year.” 

Earlier this year, Flagship Facilities did a routine annual termite inspection of the College after taking over for the previous facilities provider Sodexo Corporation in August. From there, it took a few months to gather everything together in a report for the College and for them to get an overall budget approved, Site Manager Mehran Mohtasham explained. 

After the budget was approved, facilities checked which buildings are in the worst condition and gave those buildings priority for fumigation. “We, according to priority, will decide [that] this building will go first, this [building] is second...  and then schedule the rest of the buildings,” said Mohtasham. Facilities determined that the buildings that were of highest priority were Platner Hall and Johnson Residence Hall, which is connected to Dezember House.

Johnson Hall and Dezember House, were fumigated over Winter break, followed by Platner Hall over Spring break. 

Facilities also made preparations to fumigate Turner Hall over Spring break. Turner residents received an email from Associate Director of Housing and Residential Life Joe Melendez shortly before Spring break telling them to prepare for a tentative fumigation between March 14 and March 17. However, an official date was never set, and the fumigation did not take place due to various time constraints with students and the pest control company.

“When you have students, it’s not easy to coordinate,” said Mohtasham. “In order to give two week’s notice to the pest control company, and also about three week’s [notice] to the residents..., we didn’t have that much time.” Although efforts were made to push the fumigation for Spring break, it was rescheduled for after Spring semester instead, as explained in a follow-up email to Turner residents from Melendez.

In the meantime, heavily affected areas of Turner Hall will be receiving complimentary local treatments. Men’s bathrooms on both the first and second floors have already been treated. The treatment, Mohtasham says, is “no concern for health.” Chemicals are simply injected straight into the wood. “After four hours,“it’s safe for everyone to use that restroom.” says Mohtasham.

 While the local treatments will help control the issue, they are not a substitute for the fumigation. “You might stop [the termites from] growing, but then they can come back within a year or couple of months,” says Mohtasham. Because of this, he says, the pest control company “cannot give you a guarantee or warranty that you don’t need to Fumigate.”

As of now Turner Hall is being scheduled to be fumigated later in May when most students will have moved out of their rooms. An official date is not yet set because there is still coordinating to be done with conferences that will be held on campus after Commencement. In addition to Turner Hall, other buildings also pending for fumigation are the Wardman Art Center and the Kaplan International School.

With the termite treatment in progress, students are encouraged to continue to report any pest or other facility issues to their RA as well as directly to Facilities. “Feedback is always important to us; always helps us to improve our quality of service,” says Mohtasham. Students can reach facilities by phone at (562) 907-4261 or by email at facilities@whittier.edu. For anything requiring urgent attention, students can contact campus safety, as they have Facilities’ after hours number available. Students can also drop by during regular hours at the Facilities’ office, located in the fenced lot behind Campbell Hall.