Students Kill Bat in BU Dorm
March 23, 2021
By Evan Jimenez
Students discovered a live bat in a BU dorm room early Sunday morning, later killing it after Facilities encouraged them to deal with the situation themselves.
At around 1 a.m. Sunday morning at 481-483 Commonwealth Avenue, BU sophomore Ellie Olsen was getting ready for bed when she began to hear strange noises coming from the wall.
After initially dismissing it as a picture falling off its hook, Olsen became more concerned as the noises got louder. When she turned the lights on, she noticed nothing had fallen.
“And then that’s when I saw something swoop out of the ceiling,” she said.
Olsen bolted for the door. She discovered that a bat had crawled out of a hole in her ceiling and was flying around the room. After running away, she recruited two of her neighbors in the building for help.
The trio called BU’s Facilities Management and Operations, but were allegedly told that pest control is not available on weekends and they would likely have more success dealing with the animal themselves.
Elias Przygode, one of the students who Olsen enlisted for help, said the students were in disbelief hearing Facilities tell them they were on their own. Seeing no other option, Przygode, his roommate, and another neighbor geared up with makeshift weapons and entered the room.
“The ridiculousness of the situation was still sinking in when we opened the door, but as soon as we got in, it was go-time,” he said.
Przygode said they entered the room initially trying to stun and catch the bat. But after a few minutes, they decided that the bat’s speed and agility made it too difficult to capture. They eventually struck it with a wooden rod and descended onto the bat, killing it and carefully placing its body into a bag.
After calling Facilities back, the students were “congratulated” by the facilities worker and were told to throw the dead bat away, Przygode said.
Przygode described the situation as “primal and just absurd,” but he also expressed an unease that Facilities would be willing to put students in the line of fire.
Olsen herself expressed concern at Facilities’ response to the situation. A facilities worker initially offered to cover the hole in her ceiling with some plastic as a temporary solution, but after he left, Facilities called Olsen to rescind the offer.
The worker on the phone said they could not cover the hole in her ceiling because it was too high off the ground, even though Olsen herself can reach it by standing on her chair.
Facilities did eventually come to fix the hole, Olsen said, but Residence Life staff have still not received official word on whether more bats could be in the building.
Assistant Vice President for Public Relations Rachel Lapal Cavallario said that Olsen’s report “should have been treated as a more urgent matter, and staff and vendors could have been called in late at night to handle this report.”
Cavallario encouraged students to contact Facilities if they discover a bat in their residence, saying Facilities will handle the situation.
BU Facilities did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Residence Life staff have advised all students involved in the capture to seek medical attention for possible bites or rabies infections. Przygode said he and his roommate were cleared by medical professionals of any potential bites, while Olsen said she is considering getting the four-shot rabies vaccine.
Olsen was feeling a little better following the incident, after receiving confirmation that her roof would be properly patched. Still, she said she is frustrated that Facilities did so little to help in real time.
“It’s not like my door wasn’t closing right,” she said. “There was literally a live being flying around my room. And had I been asleep, and the bat had landed on me, bit me, that’s a very different situation.”