Students battle housing concerns across campus

by Ben RobisonStaff Writer

Residence Life has had its fair share of problems reported to the department this year. While some freshmen are trying to get used to their new surroundings and settle into their new living space, some are battling mold and mildew.

“There are always problems this time of year,” Mandy Fox, director of residence life, said. “We just have a small influx this year. Nothing is out of control.”

Fox stated that a couple of rooms in the basement of Kresge Hall had small spots on the carpet and walls, which were determined to be mildew.

“The spots were reported on Monday [Sept. 22] and taken care of first thing Tuesday [Sept. 23] morning,” said Area Coordinator Luke Behaunek, who oversees both Kresge Hall and Barker Hall. “All of the surfaces in the rooms were completely wiped down and disinfected, their air filters were changed and their window seals were re-caulked.”

Also, each of the affected rooms was given a dehumidifier, and some others were placed throughout the basements of the buildings.

Fox credited the moisture in the change of season, as well as a dirty air filter, for the problem.

“When residents open and close their windows and turn their air on and off, moisture collects in the room,” Fox said. “Plus, it’s a basement. It is going have more moisture than other parts of the building.”

Behaunek commented that the night the spots were reported, three residents opted to stay in another room and eventually decided to move into the alternative room.

“This situation was handled in less than 24 hours,” Fox said. “No one is dying.”

Along with the mold and mildew problem, Fox said that some buildings have reported bug infestations. Behaunek said that the maintenance crew did their best to control that situation, and that an independent company was contracted to come and spray the residence halls and apartments on Monday Oct. 6.

Freshmen Matt Stone, who is a Barker resident, said that he was worried about the problem.

“I live a nice wing of Barker, and I really hope we don’t get any mold or bugs. I feel bad for the people that live in the basement [Kresge],” he said.

Fox and Behaunek agreed that proactive, preventative measures are key to fighting these problems. Fox said that student cleanliness is important to fight and prevent bugs.

As for mold and mildew, Residence Life and Facilities Management schedule regular and routine air filters for air conditioning units. They also keep dehumidifiers running during the influx of weather changes. Behaunek said it’s also important to report problems to community advisers right away.

Tips on fighting mold and mildew according to Housing Director Mandy Fox

1. Keep windows closed and air units on.

2. When liquids spill, act quickly to clean them up.

3. Keep indoor humidity low. Air units can solve most of this.

4. Keep pipes and windows dry. Condensation on these areas will lead to mold build-up if not taken care of.

5. Use dehumidifiers if possible.

6. Keep the air flow moving. Use fans, and open doors when practical.