Humans of Redeemer

Leah Beldman

It was my first year at Redeemer, and I was living in Dorm 1. Part way through the school year, we started hearing some noises, which we assumed to be mice. However the noises sounded like they were coming from creatures much bigger than mice, so we contacted Maintenance to look into it for us. Maintenance came by and told us that it was just squirrels, and they would eventually leave. 

Maintenance returned a few days later and found dead squirrels in the top of our house, but the noises still continued. We then found out that the squirrels had been killed by rats, specifically Norwegian rats, living above us. Then, the rats started nesting in our basement and had babies down there. We had to tape our door shut because the rats would come up the stairs and bang on our door.

This was all happening during exam time, so it was already a pretty stressful season for everyone. My RA was really freaked out. I think that it was especially stressful for me, because I had been homeschooled, so this was my first time ever taking exams with a bunch of other students. 

So, in the middle of exam time, we actually had to move our entire dorm to Dorm 11, which was the quarantine dorm at the time. Looking back, it was the funniest thing: we were moving all our things in wheelbarrows and carrying armloads of clothing to our new dorm. At the time it was pretty overwhelming, but we had the mentality, “If we can get through this, we can get through anything.”

While we never got to move back to Dorm 1, they did end up exterminating the rats, and there hasn’t been a problem since. It’s pretty funny to look back on; it’s definitely still something that we joke around about. If someone hears a noise, we’ll say, “Better hope it’s not rats!” I think experiences like this are the ones we will always remember from our time at Redeemer. 

Although at the time it was not the most ideal situation, I’m grateful for Residence Life; they were a really good support for my RA. Maintenance also does try to do their best—all the problems we had prior to the rats were solved right away. If I could tell students anything, it would be to call Maintenance right away. Of course we don’t want to create unnecessary work for Maintenance, but in reality, we should have called sooner about the noises. I also want to encourage students who are in stressful or unpredictable situations to reach out to Learning Services or their professors as they are super helpful!