An ant infestation in the Shatford Library over the summer compelled staff to ban students from chowing down in the library.

Leslie Tirapelle, interim library dean, said her main objective is to create an atmosphere where students feel stress-free during their visits at the library. But after discussing with facilities about the best possible way to handle the infestation, they found no other way than to ban food altogether.

“We want people to be comfortable here but at the same time we’re trying to create a nice environment where there aren’t bugs and where there isn’t a lot of food trash just lying around all day and all night,” said Tirapelle.

During both summer breaks when the library was closed, the facilities’ workers sprayed insecticide several times, both inside and outside the library. And because of spilled food and drinks, they also cleaned all the carpets.

“…If you walk through now the carpets are really nice and we want to maintain that,” Tirapelle said. “We’re hoping with this new policy of covered drinks and no food, it will also help maintain the building in terms of how nice it is to be in here.”

With just a few weeks into the new policy, students are already expressing their frustration.

Being a first year student, Amanda Valdez has yet to study in the library but when asked whether the new policy would prevent her from doing so, she said, “…yeah, because I usually like to have something to snack on when I’m reading…It usually helps when you eat food and study. It keeps you relaxed.”

Angela Jackson, TVR student, is also not a fan of the new policy.

“I used to eat here all the time and I was able to clean up my spills and messes,” Jackson said. “I thought it was fine. I rarely came to a cubicle that had a mess and I think that most people are responsible enough to clean up after themselves so I think that’s kind of bad.”

Tirapelle said the food trash has been significantly reduced and she hopes that even with the new policy in place students will still feel comfortable.

“As an institution, we are always trying to meet our students needs and if we start really noticing that students just feel better if they’re able to have snacks or drinks in the library, we’re willing to adjust our policies,” Tirapelle said. “But if we see that the policy is not benefiting most students the way that it was intended, then we’ll change it.”

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