UNM provides many services to students, some better and some worse. As a new graduate student, my family and I relocated back to Albuquerque and moved into Student Family Housing (SFH). The pros: international neighbors, utilities, cable, internet and laundry are included.

The cons: limited living space, poor grounds keeping, theft and GERMAN COCKROACHES. That's right, UNM SFH, which houses graduate & postgraduate students, their partners, children & youth, expose residents to roaches.

Every day, my partner, children and I squish, stomp, and smash roaches. How do I feel when my 2-year old says, “cockroach”? It stresses me out. They come out when the lights are off, but even with the lights on, there they are. Can you imagine waking up to a cockroach crawling on you? That happened to my partner. What about cockroaches hiding behind your towel or seeing them squirm on the pizza you just placed on the counter…true story. What about the health implications? Have we gotten sick since we’ve been here? Yes.

We regularly receive pest control through UNM SFH. SFH uses UNM and outside contractors to provide pest control services. Our UNM pest control says they spray only units that request it. That means while my apartment is treated, the unit next door could have an infestation. Not addressing the entire complex immediately and often is a huge problem.

The contracted pest control vendors left bait gel around the house. Having your food preparation areas contaminated with the insecticides is disgusting. Also, the gel bait looks vile, especially in the bathrooms where it seems like someone missed the toilet and hit the wall instead. Not very professional, not practical, and not safe for my children.

My suggestion to UNM SFH is to promptly remediate the cockroach problem by blitzing all SFH units with reliable and effective short and long-term pest control measurements. I feel it is UNM’s responsibility to provide clean, safe, and insect-free housing.

I would like to hear your opinions about UNM housing. Are you are dealing with insect issues? What steps do you feel are appropriate?

Lastly, I would like to pose a few questions. Do you think President Stokes would have moved into the President House if she was aware of a cockroach infestation? How quickly and thoroughly would her house be treated if she walked in and saw roaches scurrying about? My guess, and it’s only a conjecture, if President Stokes lived at UNM SFH instead, there wouldn’t be a roach problem.

Hunter Esmiol,

UNM Graduate Student