by Damien Moshman
It was my first night in Martyrs Court Jogues, the integrated science learning community. After a long day of exploring campus and having information thrown at me, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than take a shower. I got all ready, put my soap and shampoo in a shower caddy, and pulled the bathroom curtain to the side. Staring up at me was one of the most dreaded organisms that could be prowling through a living space: a roach.
“Why?” I asked myself, defeat and pain in my voice. Was it a sign saying that these next four years would be extremely gross and painful? That Fordham and its buildings were merely beautiful on the outside, hideous on the inside? Did the roach represent me? The world may never know.
There was no time to worry about that though. Martyr’s Court had an infestation, and more residents were falling victim. The hallways, laundry room, even bedrooms; nowhere was safe from the bugs.
My floor quickly banded together in order to quell the vermin situation, forming a group dedicated to alerting the floor of a roach sighting and filming their demise: usually by a can of Raid one savvy resident brought or a more gruesome shoe-smash. These displays of murder and toxic masculinity were usually met with cheers and applause, but this writer always felt a twinge of guilt at the sight.
Although some may argue that murdering insects and vermin is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, I have my doubts. So what if roaches are signs of a disgustingly dirty home? So what if they crawl all over people’s floors, showers, and clothing strewn haphazardly across a dorm room? So what if we’re paying tens of thousands of dollars a year to live in vermin infested rooms akin to prison cells? Has anybody considered the fact that us humans are the problems?
Think about it. These roaches have been roaming the hallowed halls and lush fields of Fordham University for days, weeks, months, and possibly even years, before we got here. All students here have the same goal of leaving campus as soon as possible; aspirations that we cannot know for sure that the roaches share. Frankly, one could argue that the musty basement floors of Martyr’s Court are the homes of the roaches, not of the students.
We are essentially squatters, living in the rooms of what we consider to be vermin.
“Oh, we’re absolutely the problem,” said Sam Scriven, a freshman who occupies the basement of Martyrs Court Jogues. “The roaches here are like the hosts of an Airbnb, except we kill them about four times a week instead of paying them.”
Besides, it’s not like we even respect the housing in which we occupy. Every time I walk into a bathroom stall, a bowl full of “lemonade” is there to greet me. People leave their trash everywhere: clothes, hair gel, deodorant, shower shoes littered about. Laundry is left in the washing machines for hours on end. Containers of peanut butter pretzels are left in various bathroom trash cans (?).
So, next time you encounter a roach, ask yourself a few questions. “Does this roach have a family? Do roaches have feelings? Is it ethically or morally sound of me to kill this roach? Am I really paying $20,000 a year to live with roaches?”
Then, do the mentally responsible thing and spray the roach with some Raid.