Mold returns to campus dorms

By on September 3, 2016

By Tyler Hudson–

While numerous freshmen at the University of Louisville are trying to find their classes, going to The Ville Grill and attending their first game, Callie Kappesser is trying to get rid of the mold growing in her room at Threlkeld Hall.

Mold is nothing new at U of L. In 2012, over 250 students were moved out of Miller Hall due to an outbreak of mold. In 2013, mold was found in Threlkeld, Unitas and again in Miller. The most recent discovery of mold was in 2014, once again found in Unitas.

Now, according to Kappesser, Threlkeld Hall is the newest home to this fungus.

“Our room was pretty bad. It was growing all over the ceiling and walls, it was very visible for us,” said Kappesser.

Kappesser and her roommate contacted their RA about the mold, and the issue was addressed one week later.

“They came in and treated it the best they could,” Kappesser said. “We’ve put in at least a dozen dorm change requests and complained about how it’s making us sick.” Kappesser said other girls in her hall were having similar issues. 

“Anytime we get that complaint we rush over there pretty quickly, and there certainly have been concerns that have come from Threlkeld and Miller this year,” Campus Housing Director Julie Weber said. “We follow that protocol almost exactly, and have not had any significant concerns.”

“All of the buildings over there – Bettie Johnson, Community Park and Kurz are full. If somebody wants one of those buildings, we can’t do very much. If they want Unitas, they have a better chance,” Weber said on room change requests.

The requests put in by Kappesser and her roommate were for any of the newer dorms. Unitas has a history of mold, which caused numerous students to be relocated in 2014.

“It sucks because we are all paying a ton of money to live on campus, and it’s making us sick to stay in our dorm,” Kappesser said.

“This could also be that you’re not used to living in an environment with 200 of your closest new friends, all sharing air and germs,”  Weber said, urging students to visit the Student Health Center with any cases of illness. “If the Health Center were to tell us that someone is having a reaction to mildew or some other thing in their room, we would take care of it right away.”

Both mold and mildew can cause any combination of respiratory problems and headaches. “Getting rid of wet towels, food, even old used coffee cups can help students maintain air quality,” Weber said.

Weber said the age of the buildings could have something to do with these mold scares. “We use dehumidifiers, and we’ve updated the air conditioning systems. We do have some very big decisions to make over the course of the next couple years about what needs to happen. Forget that we’re talking about mold, these are 45-year-old residence halls.”

Report any signs of mold or mildew by contacting housing at (502) 852-6636. If you are becoming ill from exposure to any growths, contact Student Health Services at (502) 854-6479.

File photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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