Wittenberg has bedbugs.
There, I said it. I truly didn’t want to make this an opinion piece, but I feel I have no other choice given that I’ve spent the past two weeks scouring the school administration for information with few results. In addition, I have asked multiple students for comment, and all either didn’t respond to the offer, or rejected due to hesitation. Hesitation of what, I’m not entirely sure.
Rumor has it that bedbugs were found on the couches in Koch Hall, the ones that were on the second floor by the stairs that numerous students (including myself) once sat in and produced sketches for their drawing classes. I actually confirmed this rumor with Sherri Sadowski, who, in a nutshell, said the school was dealing with it- that A-1 Able Pest Doctors monitored the area, eradicated the bugs and threw the couches out. “Exposed students’” housing was assessed and monitored.
Don’t get me wrong, this response is better than nothing. But no notification of this incident was officially sent out to the student body. Students could have unknowingly tracked bedbugs on their clothes, backpacks, or skin back to their dorms, houses, fraternity and sorority houses, and, if any affected students have visited their families recently, to their own homes. Just as a reminder to readers, bedbugs love fabrics and seams, and you know, human blood. They spread by coming into contact with people. Oh, and yeah, they can jump.
So, the drama died down. Then, one student told me that the Science Center has bedbugs. Well, more specifically, that a bed bug was found in a piece of mail that was received somewhere in the Science Center.
So, I sent more emails. This time, nobody was able to confirm the bed bugs. The next day at work, I overheard that offices were not receiving mail bags because all mail was being fumigated due to a bedbug spotting. Again, though, I can’t get anyone to “officially’ confirm this, but there was no mail to be had.
Personally, I have had a family friend tell me I can’t visit her house until she has some confirmation that Wittenberg no longer has bedbugs. Bedbugs infested the boarding school she once worked at, and tons of things were thrown away, and it was just a total mess. Money went down the drain, and students brought the bugs home with them. So, the situation here at Witt really “bugs” me.
What irks me is Wittenberg’s lack of response. Sherri Sadowski informed me that Wittenberg “do[es] not typically send notice to individuals who have not been exposed as doing so only creates panic.” I disagree. What creates panic is not knowing what is going on at our school. We do not know who has been exposed. Bedbugs can cling to clothes and not bite initially. Some people, if they are bit, don’t have a reaction to the bites and don’t realize they have been affected by bedbugs. Surely not all students have reported bedbug bites, or maybe some students assumed their bites were from something else. I have classes in Koch Hall, and I heard nothing from the school about this. Does being in the physical location of the bed bugs not count as being “exposed”? Sure, the bedbugs haven’t caused too many problems yet, but if they keep reproducing and students keep unknowingly spreading them all around campus, we will have a problem worth panicking over.