NYU blames rodent in Palladium dining hall on bad weather

Several students saw a small rodent scurrying through the Palladium dining hall while they were eating on April 9.

Maria Freyre and Kayla Hardersen

(Video courtesy of Andres Piccinoni)

CAS first-year Andres Piccinoni was eating dinner with GLS first-year Ben Thompson at the Palladium dining hall when he noticed a rodent running across the floor. The students left the dining hall shortly after seeing the rodent, but did not report the incident to NYU. 

“We were talking and then suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed this tiny little black mass with a long tail scurrying across the side of where we were eating,” Piccinoni said. “I looked to my right, confused, and going like, ‘No, this can’t be a rat.’ I waited a couple of seconds and it came out again.”

The three students witnessed the rodent at around 9:50 p.m. on April 9. They said they were concerned by the incident but would continue to eat at Palladium.

“There aren’t very many options for food at NYU,” Thompson said. “It’s not the best situation for sure. It’s just going to be in the back of my head while I’m eating.”

NYU spokesperson John Beckman said that each dining hall is inspected by exterminators and a third-party food safety consultant group once a week. Dining halls are also checked twice daily for pest activity, and a professional service is called if any evidence of animal activity is found.

“It is possible that the recent cold snap may have caused mice to move indoors towards the Palladium seating area from the third floor outdoor patio area,” Beckman wrote to WSN. “We’ve initiated additional pest control treatments to help prevent any similar incidents. Additionally, the Health and Food Safety consultant with whom NYU Dining works has been notified to conduct an immediate review of Palladium.”

(Video courtesy of Andres Piccinoni)

In fall 2021, students reported seeing rodents and cockroaches at Downstein and the Third North dining hall. Several students also reported getting food poisoning from Palladium that semester.

A month after NYU partnered with Chartwells to provide dining services, Palladium received a failing “C” grade in a September 2019 health inspection. The report noted that the dining hall’s facilities could attract vermin.

“I have nothing against the people who work at Palladium,” Piccinoni said. “They are the most hardworking and delightful people possible. This is just about making sure that the standards are up to par and making sure that NYU students are eating in a safe and sanitary place.”

Contact Maria Freyre at [email protected] and Kayla Hardersen at [email protected].