When sophomore Arielle Mueller heard that a deer crashed through her ground-floor window in Niedfeldt Residence, she laughed.
“I didn’t believe it,” she said. “I’d never heard of anything like that happening before.”
The incident occurred last Sept. 27 around dusk. A young doe was startled by a passing car and runner. It crashed through the ground-floor window of room 108, breaking the glass and trapping itself in the room.
Sophomore Resident Assistant Katie Summa said neither of the residents were in the room and the door was closed, keeping the deer trapped inside.
“It was the best situation that could happen out of that,” she said.
Despite the damage done to her room, Mueller found humor in the situation.
“After I actually found out it was a real thing, I thought it was rather funny,” Mueller said. “Yeah, there was destruction and broken windows, but I did find it funny.”
Sophomore Rosemary Ricci said she was walking back to the dorm when she heard a crash. She didn’t see the deer jump into the window but observed the deer jumping up and down inside the room. Ricci said the jogger pulled away some of the blinds that were covering the window so that the deer could see it was open. Once the window became clear, the deer jumped back out.
Associate Professor of Music James Holleman was on his way home from work that evening when he saw a group of deer by Niedfelt and soon after heard a window break. Holleman said he called security immediately and then went to help those involved.
“I encouraged the students to get away from the window,” he said. “They were trying to peek in and such. If this thing gets out of the window, it could be injured and scared and it could have been dangerous.”
Security arrived soon after the deer jumped back out of the window.
Ricci said the deer didn’t seem to be injured. The room, however, showed evidence to the contrary.
Besides the broken window and screen, Summa said there was blood on the walls and the carpet, and glass was everywhere.
Security officer Joe Collins, who responded to the call, said custodians and maintenance were called to board up the window and clean the room.
“It didn’t hurt anything in the room,” he said. “It just kind of made a mess out of the glass and the blood.”
Mueller and her roommate, sophomore Simone Lunt, couldn’t spend Thursday night in their room. She said the college took a lot of their clothes and bedding and washed and sanitized them.
“They did a good job cleaning things up,” she said.
Collins said this isn’t the first time something like this has happened at Hillsdale. A few years ago, a deer crashed through a window in the Dow Center.
“It’s just a freak accident,” he said. “You’ll see this sort of thing on TV. There’s really nothing you can do. It’s just this time of year. They’re kind of skittish and it’s just the way it is.”
“When I was driving home, I started to get really nervous,” Holleman said. “What if there were a few girls in the room studying or taking a nap? I think it was a freak accident and we all are really thankful. That whole thing could have been a whole different situation if that were the case.”
House Director Jessica Youngstrom only experienced the aftermath because she wasn’t on campus when the incident occurred.
“I was just totally appalled that something like that could actually happen,” she said. “Never in your life do you think that you’ll be an R.A. and a deer comes crashing through a window.” (80)