Pest Concerns From Students Gain Admin Attention

Olivia Allery, news editor

Urness and Mortensen dorms on Augsburg’s campus.
Taken: 9/14/2022
Sourced by Olivia Allery

Recent mass media coverage of the Urness and Mortensen dorms has revealed some serious concerns with on-campus housing conditions. These concerns were brought forth when Augsburg student Ali Garcia took to social media addressing the issues and calling for administration to do something about it. One of the main issues pointed out in Garcia’s post is frequent reports of cockroaches and mice getting into the dorm spaces. 

Garcia explained to the Echo how through personal experience and reaching out to friends and peers, she realized how bad the pest concerns and other building concerns were getting. “I remember one of my friends had lived in Mort during the summer, he had to be taken out at like 12 in the morning and some other students too because of how hot it was in the dorms,” Garcia continued. “He also was complaining about how bad the roach problem was all throughout the summer. (…) After hearing all of this I thought, ‘Well nobody’s doing anything and nobody is saying anything,’ and it also was mattering more because I was going to be moving into Mort, and I just got so fed up to the point where I decided to post about it.” 

Since Garcia’s initial social media posts, she has now started to lead an effort where all students’ can address concerns with Urness/Mortensen living conditions. Garcia has set up an anonymous Google form entitled “Augsburg University Roaches and Student Concerns” where everyone can address their concerns, in an effort to push for administration to find permanent solutions for the Urness/Mortensen living conditions.

Residence Life and Facilities Management have made efforts to come up with solutions and alleviate these facilities concerns. One solution identified is maximizing communication of online facility requests and ensuring all students know the system. “Our goal is to make sure that every facility issue is reported through the online system,” said James Orchard, director of Facilities Management. “This may be a new process for some students, but it’s really important to give us a clear picture of campus and make sure issues get resolved efficiently.” 

Mike Grewe, Dean of Students, also has been meeting and consulting with the individual students affected, as well as consulting with Augsburg’s Day Student Government to come up with more proactive solutions. “Going forward, we’re creating a Residence Life committee to continue to address and solve concerns in the residence halls,” Mike Grewe explained. “This committee will be led by Student Government members and will include myself, Residence Life staff, Facilities staff, and Public Safety staff. I would invite any student who wants to join this committee to contact the student government. Students may also reach out directly to the Dean of Students Office with any additional concerns.”

Along with the now-established Residence Life committee, Ali Garcia also encourages any Augsburg student or alumni to fill out the “Augsburg University Roaches and Student Concerns” forum if they have concerns regarding the Urness/Mortensen living conditions. Ali Garcia met with Mike Grewe on Sept 15th and discussed the forum concerns, but she is hoping to continue bringing these concerns forward until something is done about it.