Students Report Possible Food Poisoning

According to CMC Resident Assistants and other reports from students, as many as 20 CMC students showed symptoms of food poisoning on Saturday. Ari Davis, a Claremont Hall RA, said he could confirm seven cases of a violent “stomach bug” among students on Saturday night. “I know that two CMCers went to the hospital last night for this. I believe there were more,” Davis told the Forum.

Davis said he took a Berger resident to the hospital at 3AM on Sunday morning for symptoms that he believed resembled food poisoning. “This was clearly a very serious stomach illness,” said Davis, noting that vomiting, fever and stomach pain were among the reported symptoms.

Davis added that the doctors he had contact with could not determine if it was food-related or a virus of some kind—which is typically the case with stomach illnesses.

According to reports from four RAs, residents from Boswell, Berger, Benson and Marks reported stomach pain and vomiting on Saturday night. Alcohol is not believed to be involved in any of these cases.

Josh Rael '14 lives in Fawcett and did not contact his RA about feeling ill. “I started feeling very sick after dinner,” he said. “I was working on some homework and suddenly felt very weak, like I couldn't stand.” Rael reported that he did not sleep well on Saturday night.

The Forum asked Rael, as well as Hannah Whittemore '13 and Catherine Blakelock '14—two other CMCers who reported similar symptoms—to recount what they had eaten over the last several days.

While doctors have not confirmed what caused the illness, or that it was even related to a meal, the only food that all three ate in common in the previous 48 hours was an avocado chicken sandwich that was served at Collins for lunch on Friday.

Collins Dining Hall officials declined to give a statement on Monday and referred the Forum to the Deans of Students Office.

Dean of Students Mary Spellman told the Forum: "The College did receive reports of several sick students this weekend.  Since receiving the reports, in addition to ensuring that our students are okay, we have been investigating the source of their illnesses.  It appears that this situation involves more than just CMC and there seems to be no clear common source at this point. We are continuing to investigate."

The Forum will continue to investigate the source of these illnesses.