AMS services in the JDUC are being told to keep doors closed and ensure their garbage is properly disposed of in light of recent damage caused by rats in the building.
AMS Student Centre and Clubs Co-ordinator Stephen Chow said he estimates there are three or four rats in the JDUC who likely came from the houses that were demolished to build the Queen’s Centre.
“The initial sightings were probably a year ago,” he said.
Chow said the rats began causing problems in August and have been sighted in the Queen’s Pub, the SGPS offices and the Common Ground, although he said no rats have been seen in the Common Ground for about a month.
“We believe that we have pushed them out of that area,” he said.
Chow said he’s working with Environmental Health and Safety and Abell Pest Control to solve the problem. He said a combination of trapping, baiting and solid and liquid poisons is being used, adding that poisons are kept well away from food storage and preparation areas.
“Safety is of the largest importance to us. … In any situation with rats, there is the concern over food safety.”
Chow said anyone who sees a rat in the JDUC should call the AMS front desk. Staff would then contact Abell Pest Control, who usually come in the next morning to deal with the issue.
Chow said the total cost of the damages caused by the rats is still unknown.
Print & Copy Centre head manager Rob Macnamara said rats chewed through the drink lines behind the bar at the QP, causing pop to leak through the floor and into the P&CC below, rendering one of their main printers unusable.
“A bunch of the pop spilled down onto one of our printers, the ‘Beast.’ … We’ve had to have an insurance company come and look at it.”
Macnamara said the estimated cost of replacing the printer is $33,000. He said the cost would likely be covered by insurance.
The P&CC hasn’t experienced any other problems due to the rats, but their presence is felt nonetheless, Macnamara said.
“You can hear them scurrying on the ceiling all the time,” he said.
In an e-mail to the Journal, Food and Safety Director Holly Archer said she believes there are only one or two rats remaining in the JDUC, but they could potentially access all areas of the building.
“As far as we are aware, rats have free rein in the building, this is a building wide concern.”
Archer said food services in the JDUC have taken steps to keep the rats out of their storage areas.
“We follow rigid food storage and preparation systems in order to ensure the health and safety of students,” she said. “I am not sure how much damage has been caused within the JDUC. As for the food and safety services there have only been damages to our pop systems.”
Archer said the Coca-Cola Corporation paid for the lines to be repaired.
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