Last year, bats invaded Holder Hall, 1976 Hall, and the third floor of Frist Campus Center. On Wednesday, Feb. 19, one bat sought a larger audience. Around 11:30 a.m., students and faculty spied a solitary bat in the middle of an ECO 100: Introduction to Microeconomics lecture in McCosh 50.
Valeria Torres-Olivares ’22 was sitting in class when the bat appeared.
“I was writing down my notes, and I heard screams from the class and the professor. I looked up and there was a bat flying around,” she said. “The bat was just circling around and freshmen were getting up on the balcony and trying to touch it. Someone got up and started waving their jacket to catch it, even though that wasn’t a good idea.”
Professor Kelly Noonan attempted to resume the lecture while the bat continued to get “lower and lower,“ according to Torres-Olivares. But Imaan Khasru ’23 observed classmates getting “noticeably worried.”
Khasru is a design staffer at The Daily Princetonian.
“A couple of minutes in, when we realized the bat wasn’t leaving anytime soon — that’s when people started filing out,” Khasru said.
The 50-minute lecture on budget controls and indifference curves was cut short.
Deputy University Spokesperson Mike Hotchkiss explained in a statement to The Daily Princetonian that the room was evacuated shortly after the bat sighting. A pest-control company arrived to find the bat gone, “likely through an open window.”
Still, according to multiple students in ENG 385: Children’s Literature, the 12:30 p.m. lecture in McCosh 50, the professor announced at the outset of class that the Facilities Department was “on speed dial,” presumably in case the bat returned.
Ellie Goodspeed ’21, one of the 421 students enrolled in Children’s Literature, thought it was mostly funny. At the beginning of the lecture, Goodspeed said, she and a friend chanted “Bat! Bat! Bat!” because they “really wanted to see it.”
“But then I remembered a scene from ‘The Office’ … where a bat attacks Meredith, and Dwight puts a garbage bag over her head. The bat bites her and she basically gets rabies,” Goodspeed said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rabies is relatively rare in humans, with only one or two human cases each year in the United States. However, the most common way to get rabies is through bat contact.
If bitten by a bat, individuals should “wash any wound … thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately,” according to a statement on the CDC website.
Students took to the classroom response system Acadly to debrief the incident. Justice Chukwuma ’22 solicited names for the bat from classmates. Nathan Yates ’22 named it “McLovin.”
Neither Yates nor Chukwuma responded to requests to explain the name.