The Advocate

Mold complaints advanced

Austin+Checco+has+Living%2FLearning+Center+resident+Dylan+Tuttle+sign+a+petition+to+lobby+for+Pitt-Johnstown+administrators%E2%80%99+attention+to+living+conditions.
Austin Checco has Living/Learning Center resident Dylan Tuttle sign a petition to lobby for Pitt-Johnstown administrators’ attention to living conditions.

Austin Checco has Living/Learning Center resident Dylan Tuttle sign a petition to lobby for Pitt-Johnstown administrators’ attention to living conditions.

Mary-Lynn Retassie

Mary-Lynn Retassie

Austin Checco has Living/Learning Center resident Dylan Tuttle sign a petition to lobby for Pitt-Johnstown administrators’ attention to living conditions.

Alyssa Coleman, Opinions Editor

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Students outraged by mold growth in the Living/Learning Center are attempting to band fellow students together to lodge complaints about living conditions.

Senior Chris Bridge and a group of about eight other students decided to start a petition to call attention to the worsening Living/Learning Center living conditions. 

“We decided that, rather than all going up and confronting the campus first, we would make petitions to show how many people were behind us,” said Bridge, “We are calling for action in regard to not only the mold, but also other general complaints about living conditions.”

The mold was first discovered by Residence Life staff around two weeks before classes began this semester, but rooms were not professionally cleaned.  It reappeared and was discovered by students when they began moving in to their rooms.

“The mold was here when we all arrived. It did not start after we moved in,” said Bridge, “I also noticed that an email saying there were 10 confirmed cases of mold in rooms at the (Living/Learning Center) was sent to students, however Servpro specifically told us that there was mold in every room.”

Bridge also said Friday that dehumidifiers were still present.

“Many rooms in the (Living/Learning Center) still have large, noisy dehumidifiers in their rooms, including mine, which originally were to be removed after one week. They have now been here almost a month.”

Bridge, who says he had mold on his walls and puddles of water on his carpet, says he hopes the petition gets administrators’ attention, but he does not think they will offer a rebate of some housing payments.

“Personally, I believe the university cares more about their income than they do the quality of living for students, so I do not think they will offer rebate of any kind,” said Bridge, “The people in charge do not have to live with mold or loud machines, so frankly I believe they do not care, as it does not affect them.”

When asked whether giving students a housing payment reimbursement would be something Pitt-Johnstown administrators would consider, Bob Knipple, Housing and Dining Services executive director, said that since he has not yet seen the petition, it would be premature for him to offer a comment.

Bridge says a little over 100 people have signed the petition so far.  He also said that he believes the mold will come back.

“From what we have heard from Servepro, the mold is still in the ventilation systems.  If it’s not in the ventilation system, though, I do believe the mold will return. The bathrooms in the (Living/Learning Center) are mold-prone in my opinion because none of them have exhaust fans.”

Bridge says he feels Pitt-Johnstown did not handle the mold problem properly, as it should have been cleaned professionally and in a timely matter before students moved in.

“We are trying to act together and in a civil way to resolve these matters, as I don’t think it is practical to handle this matter aggressively,” says Bridge, “I want to see the campus grow and prosper, but decreasing the level of service on campus for a large portion of students is not the proper way to promote that growth.”

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