A bed bug infestation led to freshers being evacuated from Magdalen accommodation last week.
The infestation spread through the ground floor of the Waynflete Building, part of the first years’ accommodation over Magdalen Bridge. Alongside the continued flooding of the toilets on the corridor, this has resulted in the exodus of all nine residents on the floor.
One of the students affected by the infestation told Cherwell, “The issue started when I came back after the Christmas holidays. I first noticed something was wrong when I developed a rash on my arm, as I’m mildly allergic to insect bites. Later I found an insect in my room and went to speak to the Waynflete Dean. Despite them cleaning my room again, a week (and several more bites) later I found another insect.”
“Fortunately there have been no issues in my new room, but the whole experience was very unpleasant and not what I was expecting to have to deal with on returning to college after the holidays.
“I have to say, if it was true that they knew there was a bug problem over the holidays then I’m very disappointed with the college for not sorting it out. It may only be student accommodation, but we are still paying ‘customers’ and I’d expect better than that.
“Although, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised; the whole of the ground floor of the Waynflete have been moved out because the toilets kept flooding the bathroom and the corridor, which was also very unpleasant, and has been happening continuously for over a year, (four times this term alone!). The college are now fixing this issue, and are replacing all the carpets and beds on ground floor. However, it has been a lot of hassle that I would rather not have had to deal with.”
Indeed, one student on the affected corridor told Cherwell, “I wasn’t actually personally affected by the bed bugs on my corridor- despite the fact that I still had to move into temporary accommodation, although this was more as a result of the flooding toilets.”
The accommodation is now being overhauled, with the floors being taken up and all the affected rooms being stripped. It is believed that the rooms will be uninhabitable for the rest of the academic year.
One graduate student at Magdalen expressed their concern. They said, “The fact that this infestation had gone unrecognised for as long as it took for it to spread to multiple rooms is more than worrying for the rest of Magdalen accommodation.”
One St. Anne’s third year expressed his surprise at the way that the situation had been dealt with.He said, “Lord al-mite-y! It really bugs me that colleges think they can get away with these ant-ics. They’d bed-er get their act together to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“I suppose if it came to choosing between living with bed bugs and sleeping rough, it’d be the lesser of two weevils. I used to have an insect in my room, but I got rid of it. Shame really, it was my pest de resistance. Magdalen should certainly follow suit. For a wealthy college, this is really taking the pest.”
When contacted by Cherwell on Thursday, a spokesperson for Magdalen was unavailable for comment.