Student tweet sparks concern about rodent issues in Scott Crossing


Kamrin Baker

This is a developing story. All information in this article is up to date as of 2:00 p.m., Feb. 24, 2019. Details will be added and updated as they become available.

At 7:07 p.m. Saturday evening, University of Nebraska at Omaha student Spencer Belcastro tweeted: “If you’re thinking about moving into the dorms at UNO I strongly suggest you do! Each room comes with 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, and FREE PETS! Unfortunately if you don’t want to live with the pets, UNO will do nothing about it no matter how many times you ask.” The tweet included a video of a mouse popping its head up from a stove top in a Scott Crossing residence hall.

Photo via @SpenceBelcastro on Twitter.

Since the time of its posting, the tweet has garnered over 150 retweets and over 1,300 likes. Many people have also responded with various reactions, some saying that they’ve had issues in previous years on campus.

The official UNO Twitter account replied to Belcastro’s post a little over two hours later, tweeting: “Spencer, thank you for reporting this issue. Scott Campus Housing will be over tonight.”

Photo via @UNOmaha on Twitter.

As of 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Scott Campus has issued a statement to the Gateway.

“Maintaining quality housing units is incredibly important to us, which is why we respond to student concerns as quickly as possible,” said Adam Wick, Scott Campus Housing’s assistant property manager. “In the case of this report, we began investigating and took steps to remedy this issue the same night it was reported, as maintenance crews also worked to keep our units clear during blizzard-like conditions. As with any reported issue, we are planning on continued follow-up until we are confident the concern is resolved.”

Belcastro responded to the Gateway via direct message about the issue Saturday night shortly after posting the video on Twitter, saying the rodent issue dates back to living in the new building last year.

He said he and his roommates purchased mouse traps last year and captured two in a day. After killing three more, the residents informed management of their rodent issue. Belcastro said the people he spoke with at Scott Campus said there could be occasional rodent issues with a new building. Scott Crossing’s construction was finalized in August of 2017.

“They supplied us with glue traps, but they didn’t work,” Belcastro said. “I’ve told them multiple times of the problem and they have never gone further than giving us more glue traps despite me telling them they don’t work. My roommate told me a few days ago that he could hear them from in the wall.”

A little after 10 p.m. on Saturday, Belcastro said Scott Campus had yet to confront the issue, which, he said “is understandable due to the weather.”

Belcastro also said he is moving into an off-campus apartment in April due to the pest control issues he has encountered in Scott Crossing.

UPDATE: Around 2 p.m. on Sunday, Belcastro reached out to the Gateway to inform us that he had received assistance from Scott Campus Housing, as well as a worker from the eco lab.

“They noted that communication is often iffy and gave me a better number to contact, so I don’t have to go through the grapevine of getting assisted in the future,” Belcastro said. “It just irritates me that it took catching it on video for UNO to start taking it seriously.”