Pests bugging fine arts students

By Veronika Janik

The lighting is fine, the stage is set, the students are ready to rehearse and only one problem surfaces–insects abound.

Faculty of Fine Arts students have had numerous encounters with silverfish insects, present in studios and classrooms in the basement of Craigie Hall.

The issue was raised by a student at a faculty forum in January. Upon notification, Faculty of Fine Arts Dean Dr. Ann Calvert insisted some proof was needed in order address the problem. This spurred anger amongst many of the students.

“The students took what she said in completely the wrong way and they blew it way out of proportion,” said Students’ Union Fine Arts Faculty Representative Janet Downie.

Students threatened to bring specimens of the insects to the dean to make a point.

“This whole thing has just turned into an unnecessary conflict,” said Downie. “Many of the students weren’t even there to hear what she had to say.”

As for the bug problem, Downie said it is not a massive infestation and they are present mainly in the basement.

“They come out where it’s dark but they don’t do anything, they’re not harmful,” informed Downie.

Silverfish are wingless and flat, which allows them to get through very small crevices and hide effectively.

“They have a predilection for paper, paste and other starchy materials so they can become a pest in libraries or art galleries,” said Biological Sciences professor, Dr. Rob Longair.

He also stated that reducing humidity and improving ventilation can help get rid of some types.

The extermination of the insects has not yet been confirmed but the faulty has inspected the condition.

“A problem like this is unacceptable,” said Dr. Calvert. “Stud- ents need to be able to do their work, and we’ve reported it to facilities management who, as far as I’m concerned, have fixed the problem.”