Cadets at The Citadel spotted an unusual and unwelcome visitor in their college’s mess hall Monday morning — a rodent.
The uninvited breakfast guest was also caught on film. A 20-second video of the rodent scaling a door frame inside Coward Dining Hall was posted on the Instagram account @barstoolcid Monday around 9:30 a.m.
“Bro, he’s climbing the wall,” a student in the video said. “That’s mess hall for you.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the video had more than 3,000 views.
The college issued a statement to students Monday night to inform them that the rodent was “eliminated on the spot.”
Sodexo, the Citadel’s food service provider, contacted its pest control contractor after the incident, the statement said.
Sodexo also contacted the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to report the problem, according to Col. John Dorrian, the college’s vice president of communication and marketing.
Dorrian said he is unsure if the rodent was a mouse or a rat.
DHEC inspected the mess hall Tuesday and the space received a score of 96 and no evidence of rodents was found, according to Dasha Ross Smith, Sodexo’s public relations director.
Dorrian said the rodent’s appearance could have been related to the hurricane that brushed Charleston last week.
“The initial impression is that this is a spike in activity that is related to the storm,” Dorrian said. “With that being said, we’re not going to allow that to be an excuse, because we’re not going to have any rodent activity, or any other pests allowed in our dining facility.”
Chris Delcamp, the public information director at DHEC, said he was unsure if Hurricane Dorian caused an increase in rodent activity, but officials are looking into The Citadel’s mess.
“If we get a report, we will go out and investigate,” Delcamp said. “Those findings will be posted once we get an investigator out there.”
Last year, DHEC issued the mess hall two B ratings, the middle grade on its scale of A to C.
One was issued in January, when the mess hall received a score of 82 percent. A follow-up report, issued eight days later, gave it 100 percent. In October 2018, the mess hall received a rating of 78 percent. A follow-up report, also issued eight days later, was 100 percent.
Dorrian said the mess hall is treated monthly by a pest control company, and any student may report their mess hall concerns to their pack officer, who is responsible for conveying messages from cadets to the school’s staff.