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ARA manager indifferent to cockroach in Lobdell

Last Saturday I went to Lobdell Dining Hall for lunch with a friend. We sat down at a table near the window and finished our meal. As I happened to look down on my tray, I saw a brown-colored, 11/2-centimeter-long bug make its way through my unfinished french fries.

I had never seen a cockroach before, so I asked my friend if the brown bug was a cockroach. He jostled the paper plate to get a better view of the bug and assured me that it was, indeed, a cockroach. He trapped the cockroach with a cup, but I still felt uneasy.

I located the manager on duty and expressed my concern that it may be unsanitary to have cockroaches in an eating or kitchen facility. He took a look at the bug and tried to console me by saying that it was "not big, yet" and by telling me that he has "seen bigger cockroaches in Hong Kong."

Instead of getting an apology or even an assurance that ARA is doing something about the problem, I was presented with the attitude that I was "lucky" that the cockroach was relatively small in size and therefore less harmful to my health, perhaps.

This may have been a poor attempt at jocularity, but I am almost positive that the cockroach infestation in a public dining facility is not in accordance with state or local health codes. If it is illegal, why doesn't ARA admit it and try to correct it? Or is ARA merely maintaining their view that nothing is illegal until someone dies and ARA is sued? Why are they so reluctant to listen to their clientele and at least try to accommodate their wishes? I strongly doubt that evading the issue will help ARA secure the MIT community's trust and support.

Angela Lih '92->