Some Vanbrugh students will return to campus after Easter to find that they require new accommodation, as Eric Milner A block has been “overrun by giant rats”.
Nouse previously reported that the block was infested with both rats and silverfish, resulting in the closure of several kitchens and dining rooms. But a statement issued by the University this morning states “that was only the beginning”. There have now been confirmed sightings of at least twenty enormous rodents in and around the block measuring an estimated 60 to 80 centimetres in length plus tail.
The University’s statement also said: “Alternative arrangements have been made for Eric Milner A’s residents. The block is currently uninhabitable but we have secured a room in the Boulevard for everyone who is affected. Unfortunately we are not able to allow students back into the block to gather their possessions and we cannot say with any certainty how long the situation will continue. All affected students have been contacted.”
One resident of the block told Nouse: “The whole thing is absurd. The Uni should just light a huge fire in there. There’s so much asbestos in the place that the building would be fine anyway. We could move back in tomorrow.”
Three students were staying in Eric Milner A block over the Easter break and one, a first-year English student, told Nouse about her encounter with the rats: “I think I was the first to see the rats. I had just got out of the shower and saw what looked like a length of rope preventing the kitchen door from closing. When I took a closer look, I realised it was actually the tail of a huge rat. There were four of them in the kitchen and one of them was eating my cereal. They had whiskers like thunder and eyes that looked like knocking your funny bone feels. Each claw was like Death’s scythe itself. They are almost certainly harbingers of the end times.”
One of the rodents was described by a cleaner as looking “similar to that giant rat they found in Sweden, only less cute and more like the spawn of Satan”. This is a reference to a giant rodent discovered in a Stockholm kitchen last week which measured 40 centimetres plus tail and was dubbed “Ratzilla”.
The University’s statement also makes it clear that, for now at least, conventional extermination methods are not part of any course of action likely to be pursued. A spokesperson for the University explained to Nouse that certain behaviours exhibited by the rats means both that they are of scientific interest and that killing them could breach ethical codes.
“These are not normal rats. Not only are they more aggressive, having attacked everyone we’ve sent into the block since evacuating it, but they’re also much more intelligent than normal rats. They’re attacking in packs, like the raptors in Jurassic Park,” he said.
The block is under constant surveillance, and though the rats have boarded up many of the windows, the University’s security staff have spotted some incredible behaviour.
One member of the security staff who wished to remain anonymous told Nouse: “We are not trained to deal with this. Honestly nobody has a clue what to do. I saw one of those rats fashioning some kind of spear and another playing what looked like Farm Simulator on a student’s laptop. It’s terrifying.”
He also claimed that the University is withholding a message from the rats. “I only got a brief look at it myself. It was an almost undecipherable scrawl but I definitely say the words ‘demands’ and ‘helicopter’. They folded it up into a paper plane and chucked it from a window. Not long after we picked it up, everyone on duty was told to take the rest of the day off. Whatever’s going on, I don’t like it.”
The University’s spokesperson denies the existence of any message from the rats, calling claims of its existence “absurd”. He also said: “Even if this message did exist and the rats were making demands, the University of York simply does not negotiate with terrorists.”