R.A. Fears for Her Job After Telling Residents About Bed Bugs in Her Room

By: Bridget Fargen & Catherine Crane Email
By: Bridget Fargen & Catherine Crane Email

University officials say it's protocol to protect the identity of students who have bed bugs found in their rooms.

But when one R.A wanted to tell residents on her floor about bugs found in her room, she says, she was told not to tell the truth.

When RA Amanda Wekesser found out she had bed bugs, she felt she needed to tell her residents.

Wekesser tells 10/11, "I'd been advised to write that there was extensive repairs or something wrong with my room and that's why I'd been moved two doors down to another room. So who told you to lie? My supervisor."

Keith Zaborowski is the Associate Director for Residence Life at UNL. He tells 10/11, "That is not the information we have, we'll have to see that e-mail."

Even though Amanda says she was told not say anything she says residents put two and two together.

"After seeing the note one dead bed bug on the housing website, that caused a panic and what I really wanted to say was this is my room."

Amanda says she couldn't stand by idle.

"To not be able to tell them, to not be able to do that, I wouldn't be able to live with that, and it made me fear my job to tell my residents, but they need to know what's going on."

She did through a Facebook post and a letter to all the people on her floor in Selleck Hall. University officials say their policy is student choice for telling people.

Zaborowski says, "The normal protocol with students is to say you can disclose what you feel comfortable disclosing, we don't say 'don't tell anyone', that's your choice."

He adds the policy aims to protect students.

"What we put on the website is a floor and the amount of rooms, we try not to tag an individual or tag a room."

Zaborowski says a total of 27 dorm rooms and seven student lounges are in the process of or have gone through treatment. Eight dorm rooms were heat treated, while the other 19 were chemically treated.

A company working to exterminate the bed bugs is using a dog trained to find them. Zaborowski says the university is also purchasing some of it's own equipment used to treat bed bugs.

A vendor treating the rooms tells university officials, this is a low level infestation.


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