The Rat Infestation of 251

By: Chloe Baker  |  November 9, 2023

By Chloe Baker, Staff Writer

The 251 independent housing building on the Beren Campus has a major rat problem. After being let down by housing, the residents of the building have been left to their own devices to try and navigate the problem, as it is affecting their everyday lives. Work orders are being submitted and exterminators are coming to try and fix the problem, but nothing seems to be working. 

When Miriam Mizrachy-Nacca (SCW ‘24) came back to her apartment after break, she walked into her room only to find rat feces all over her pillow and blanket. “It was so disgusting. I was freaking out,” she told the YU Observer. In general, there is a sense of fear that surrounds this problem. There is fear of encountering a rat face to face, fear of a rat making a mess in your room, and an overall discomfort in the place you now call home. “I’m nervous to get out of bed. I’m worried that a rat will be crawling out from underneath my bed,” Miriam said. 

Not all residents of the building have been personally affected by the rat infestation, but many have friends and neighbors who experience issues daily. “I’ve been to other friends’ apartments in times of crisis when rats were in their room. I feared that my own apartment would get rats too so I did the best I could and I tried to look for holes and block any that I could see because it is a constant fear.” Leeanna Azulai Maimon (SCW ‘25) told the YU Observer

 “There has been an ongoing argument with YU housing about what to do about the rat situation,” says Leeanna. Rat traps have been installed in the building, but that has not been enough. “I think the best idea is to take a fire extinguisher and target the rat.” Leeanna emphasized the idea of treating this space like your home by saying “If someone is coming into your home there needs to be some self defense. You have to do what you can to get rid of the rats.” 

“Honestly it’s a very disheartening situation to know that a place you consider home is infested with rats. I think people should take matters into their own hands as much as possible,” says Leeanne. 

The saga of the 251 rat infestation poses a threat to the reputation of dorming on the Beren campus. The consequences extend far beyond the discomfort and health risks, affecting the trust that students and parents hold. Students expect a safe and comfortable environment to live in. When rats infest their housing, and it isn’t taken care of, it raises questions about the schools ability to maintain the standard level of care. 

While YU has graciously tried to ensure the problem is properly addressed and solved, there is still much work to be done.