Students complain about mold in residence halls


Nadir Benslimane

Students sit in Loyola’s Residential Quad on Oct. 13, 2022. Students living in these on-campus residential halls have complained about seeing mold and mildew in their dorms.

Maggie Lewis, Staff Writer

Emma Harlan has struggled with continual illness since the beginning of last year – her first semester at Loyola. She’s had trouble breathing, and she randomly gets dizzy throughout the day. She’s “sick all the time,” she said, and it is difficult for her to function during class time. She said she is not learning as well as she could be.

Harlan blames the symptoms on a black residue she’s found throughout her space in Buddig Hall. Other students have found it in their rooms, too.

Students are calling it mold, but Chris Rice, Loyola’s director of residential life, said that no mold was found on campus after professionals inspected the building earlier this semester.

One student, who wished to remain anonymous due to contract requirements with Loyola’s Student Government Association, said that there were spots of mold all over their Buddig Hall bathroom. The worst of these “moldy” areas was on the bathroom door, which the room’s residents call their “mold door.”

The student said that the room’s residents cleaned the door weekly, but the black residue continually came back.

Miles Ainsworth, a sophomore graphic design student, also said that he has had issues with the residue in his room. He said that while it has not caused health issues in his case, it is continuously inconvenient to clean and be around.

None of these students have reported any of the issues because they said they fear they will not be taken seriously.

Harlan said that she feels as though residential life at Loyola “needs to handle more things with more efficiency and respect,” and that she feels that “mold is handled how most things are handled by res life.”

This feeling was echoed by the anonymous source. They said that they have never reported the mold since they “know that the situation is dismissed.” The source added that they feel as though they are “being gaslighted” about the mold in their dorm room. They asked that the situation be “taken more seriously.”

Chris Rice said that, as far as he knows, the issues that students have experienced have nothing to do with mold.

“There could be several reasons why people are experiencing cold-like symptoms in the residence hall,” he said.

He said that these reasons likely have to do with seasonal allergies, stress or adjusting to community living, as opposed to the presence of mold in the residential halls.

Rice suggested that all students facing issues such as these notify Residential Life so that the situation can be assessed. He further suggested that students reach out to the University Counseling Center available on campus to help manage their stress.