Down the rabbit hole
Augustana’s campus may not be Alice in Wonderland, but, for a while, Lookout Theme House came close.
This summer when juniors Shi Almont and Haley Schoenecker moved into their new home, they found a gaping, roughly two-foot-wide hole in the basement bathroom wall covered by a plastic trash bag. It contained something far from magic—dead rabbits.
“The whole time before it got fixed it smelled really bad in our bathroom—but not like a normal bathroom smell,” Almont said.
The students contacted Campus Life, which, according to Almont, sent a maintenance worker to patch the wall about one week later. However, the odor remained after the repair. Maintenance later returned, tore down the entire wall section and found numerous dead bunnies.
“The reason that they had torn the hole in the wall in the first place … was that there was a squirrel that was dead and a few baby bunnies,” Almont said. “So they ripped off part of the wall, pulled the animals out, and then just left it.”
Almont and Schoenecker do not blame maintenance but did say that communication with Campus Life left a lot to be desired.
“They don’t get back to you,” Schoenecker said. “And if they do get back to you, they don’t follow through very well.”
Director of Campus Life Corey Kopp has been working with staff and students to resolve problems with Lookout House and other theme houses.
“Coming up with a blanket response to specific issues is difficult to do,” Kopp said. “One of the things that we are committed to working towards this year is a way to become better communicators with students. Whether we feel that some of those frustrations are valid or not, the perception is the reality right now.”
Kopp is also working to establish a task force composed of Campus Life, students and ASA members to analyze the theme houses’ conditions and the theme house program as a whole.
Maintenance has since fixed the animal problem at Lookout House, using a plastic cap to close a ventilation tube leading outside. Now, the only white rabbits Lookout House should be seeing are those hopping around campus.