Proper sanitation and good health are vital to our campus community. Students expect the food being served in the residence halls to be properly prepared in a clean and germ-free environment, and they shouldn’t have to worry about bugs or other contaminants in the food preparation area. The recent cockroach infestation at Ciao Down Pizzeria, a small café in South Quad Residence Hall, is an alarming issue. The University must uphold the best possible standards in all of its facilities and needs to convey all relevant information to the community.
Ciao Down Pizzeria closed on Dec. 15 because of a cockroach infestation. The café is now open again to students. University Housing spokesman Peter Logan told the Daily that the café would close again if the cockroaches continued to be a problem.
This cockroach mishap never should have happened. Between serving snacks and meals, University dining facilities have an obligation to students to remain clean and sanitary. Typically, the University maintains high standards in all of its food dining halls. But, the recent cockroach infestation does not abide by this standard and is unacceptable for a public eatery.
It is a serious matter that exterminators were needed to kill the bugs in the food preparation areas. Cockroaches are very difficult to kill. While the extermination was safe, it’s a challenge to get rid of cockroaches without using severe methods. The problem at Ciao Down must be addressed as soon as possible. Though the café has officially re-opened, University Housing must be completely certain this won’t be a recurring problem. Students who live in the residence halls shouldn’t be subject to potentially harmful situations.
It’s not only unacceptable that cockroaches were discovered in a popular campus eatery. Students have every right to know exactly what’s happening when it comes to their health and University housing. Not all employees of Ciao Down were informed of reasons for the closure. There is a serious breach of trust when students don’t know about potentially hazardous situations in University residence halls.
Last month, The Michigan Daily reported the University’s Freedom of Information Office was charging high — and in some cases, potentially illegal — fees for FOIA requests. In combination with the Ciao Down closure and failure to quickly notify students of a sexual assault in East Quad Residence Hall in November, it’s not difficult to see a potentially dangerous pattern. The University has an obligation to keep students well informed, not pick and choose which information should be made public.
The University must continue to uphold its usually high standards of sanitation, and make students aware of any problems it encounters and of any intended remedies.
Correction Appended: A previous version of this article incorrectly insinuated that the cafe could close permanently.