Legal Magazine

University of South Alabama Students Are "Rooming With Roaches" at The Grove

By Rogershuler @RogerShuler

Ted Rollins grew up in the family that owns Orkin Pest Control, so you might think that his student-housing complexes would be relatively bug free. But you would be wrong.
Students who live at The Grove apartments on the University of South Alabama campus say they have been overun with roaches for months. And students say officials with Campus Crest Communities, the company that has built apartments under The Grove banner at about 30 universities around the country, have not done much to help.
Channel 15 in Mobile has a report titled "Rooming With Roaches at The Grove." The story is dripping with irony when you consider that Ted Rollins is the CEO of Campus Crest Communities. And his billionaire cousins, Randall and Gary Rollins, are the heads of Atlanta-based Rollins Inc., the parent company of Orkin Pest Control.
We have written extensively about Ted Rollins' legal and personal affairs in Alabama, especially a dubious divorce case he filed in Shelby County back in 2004, even though Sherry Carroll Rollins had already sued him for divorce in 2001--in Greenville, South Carolina, where the family lived and jurisdiction was established. The Shelby County divorce was handled in such a grossly unlawful manner that it left Ms. Rollins and the couple's two daughters on food stamps in Birmingham. Now it looks like Ted Rollins business affairs might be even creepier than his personal affairs.
It's not clear what company handles the pest-control contract for Campus Crest Communities, but we would say there's a strong possibility that it's Orkin. So why can't perhaps the best-known extermination company in the world keep roaches out of student apartments--especially at a complex that is owned and operated by a company that is part of the Rollins family?
The answer to that question is not clear. But this much is clear: Students in Mobile are not happy with living conditions at The Grove. From reporter Andrea Ramey at
University of South Alabama students living at The Grove apartments say they've been rooming with roaches for months now, and they say management hasn't done much about it. 
"Roaches are everywhere. They come out from behind the stove when you cook. They come up from the side of the fridge. I mean, everywhere," said a South Alabama student, who didn't want to be identified. 
She says she routinely complains about the bug infestation but says not much is done about it. 
"The only thing they say is keep the drains closed. Keep the toilet lid closed and they can only spray once every other week or every two weeks, and we can't permanently be put on a list for him to spray. We have to put in a request every week. We've gotten pushed back," the student said.

How bad is the problem? From Ramey's report:
"They're being shy right now," said another student who lives there as he opened up a kitchen cabinet. 
"I've been sitting in my bedroom and seen bugs going up the walls or all around in my bed room drawer," said one of the residents. 
But to get away from the creepy crawlies isn't cheap. The student who didn't want to be identified says she's requested a different apartment but was told her and her roommate would be charged $500. 

Some students have decided to address the problem themselves:
Until management acts, this student says she'll keep buying bug spray and just hope the critters stay in the kitchen. 
"Roaches like to crawl in your ears at night whenever you sleep. So it's kind of scary at night going to sleep knowing that they're in the kitchen and all it's going to take is crawling under my door," she said.

Having to worry at night about roaches crawling in your ears? Gee, that must really help the old grade-point average. Is that what Campus Crest Communities means by it's marketing slogan, "Fully Loaded Living"?
Here is the Channel 15 report:

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