MSU residents, like students at many colleges, worry about mold in dormitories

Complaints of mold in university housing resulted in evacuations, protests and rallies in Commonwealth University of Virginia, Howard University and the University of Georgia.

Michigan State University students are also affected.

With the tag “mold in the dormitory”, the students filed their complaints with TikTok.

Some are student videos that be treated for mold poisoning Where moved because of mold. Others show what they found or what mold test kits tell them.

Whether this is a new issue or whether TikTok has made the fungus go viral, it’s clear that many students and their parents are concerned about mold in housing on campus.

Karissa Chirbas is a first year student living at MSU’s Case Hall. Her roommate, Gia Mistretta, suffers from asthma and an increased sensitivity to molds. So the university provided them with an air conditioning unit.

Karissa Chirbas and Gia Mistretta in their dormitory at Case Hall.

The two spent most of their first semester at Case with an undiagnosed illness. They reported fever, a stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, and chest pain. Their frustration increased as they were repeatedly treated for respiratory infections, with several different medications without improvement.

Then, Chirbas saw a TikTok video of a college student talking about mold poisoning in her dorm. The video prompted Chirbas and Mistretta looking for mold in her own room. They found it inside the air conditioning unit provided by the university.

“We told them (at maintenance), ‘Hey, we think we have mold in our air conditioning unit. They said they had received other calls about it and it was “environmental”. Let it just happen. We told them “we have to get it taken out,” so they came and took it out and replaced it with a new one. “

Joseph Petroff, MSU Health and Safety Coordinator for Accommodation and Reception Services, works with environmental concerns involving water infiltration in residential installations. He is a water restoration technician certified by the Inspection, cleaning and restoration institute.

“My role is to intervene as soon as we learn of damage or problems in one of our spaces, to assess it and make sure that it is safe for people to live there.” said Petroff.

For all mold-related concerns, he says students should contact their designated maintenance team. According to the evaluation, Petroff and his team follow various university protocols.

“Mold is everywhere, it’s in the air. We bring it and go out with us when we walk in and out of the outdoors. Although all of our buildings have high capacity filtration and very high efficiency HVAC units that supply air inside our buildings, there is no way to necessarily remove mold or spores. airborne mold, because they are tiny, invisible particles. . ”

While CASE’s roommates were finally able to resolve their issue, they said they wanted the university to be more conscientious about what it puts in the dorms, especially when the AC unit which was supposed to help with fight asthma, aggravated mold poisoning.

Another freshman in the MSU dorms, Gage Bond, said he and his roommates had a huge mold problem in their bathroom. They first noticed it on move-in day, with a high concentration in the shower. One of his roommates also suffers from asthma. However, all four roommates said they got sicker faster than they’ve ever been in the past.

Caitlin Visniski is also a resident of Case Hall at MSU. She reported mold on her ceiling, sink, and around her doors, all on move-in day.

“We’re cleaning it up as best we can, but it comes back after a week. I clean it every Saturday or Sunday. I’ve literally always had a dry throat since I’ve been here. I had a cough recently, and earlier when we first moved in I had a throat problem for three straight weeks. I am someone who rarely gets sick, like maybe once a year. said Visniski.

She said students need vents in their bathrooms, and if not vents, at least cleaning supplies to better manage the growth. She said it was a challenge to go out and buy cleaning supplies so often without a car.

While mold is common, Petroff said students shouldn’t have to live with it.

“We can control the growth of mold in a space by making sure it is dry and clean. It is not unusual for people to have mildew on their shower curtain for example, or perhaps in the cracks along the base of their shower, and this can be of great concern. The best way to solve this problem is simply with mild soap.

Here is MSU’s mold guide for campus residents.

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