Wasps raise communication issue

Alyssa Coleman , News Editor

Instead of finding books and a peaceful place to study, Owen Library visitors have been greeted by wasps this semester

According to Library Specialist Maggie Borodach, the wasps were first noticed around the end of September in the library’s second floor light fixtures.

“There were very few, but steps were taken to report them to (maintenance workers) and someone sprayed immediately,” she said.

Borodach said signs were posted warning patrons of the wasps, and any of the few wasps that were visible stayed in the ceiling lights.

Borodach said she noticed an increase in wasp activity on the morning of Oct. 5 when she was assisting library visitors.

“There were too many to count.

“The wasps were still in the back corner of the second floor, but they were venturing into the stacks. 

“They were flying at eye level and extremely active, possibly due to the change in temperature outside,” she said.

“I called the library director, Peter Egler, and he and I agreed that evacuating and closing the second floor was the best option to prevent anyone from getting hurt.”

Borodach said that, after the second floor was evacuated, she posted the signs warning visitors and contacted campus police.

“Campus police, facilities and several members of maintenance were involved and worked quickly to resolve the situation.

“A call was placed for an exterminator to spray that evening, and, in the meantime, two maintenance workers vacuumed as many wasps as they could, stating that they believe they caught over 100 and had gotten most, if not all, of them,” she said.

She said that by the next morning there were multiple staff members and other campus employees who made sure there were no more wasps before reopening the second floor.

“We all did our best to work as quickly and effectively as possible to ensure the safety of our students and library patrons,” she said.

Borodach said, throughout the course of the events, nobody reported being stung or hurt by the wasps.

Student Government Treasurer Olivia Albert said she feels not enough was done to warn students of the wasps.

“There were basically just signs that said, ‘Watch for bees’,” Albert said.  “I am extremely, deathly allergic, so I would have appreciated a little bit more of a warning than that.”

Student Government President Devin Seiger said that communication between students and staff needs to be prioritized and improved.