Aine Doyle, Publicity Manager
On Thursday March 23, students from each residence hall on campus gathered in the Hogan Campus Center with representatives from the Residence Life Office and the Inter-House Council to discuss outstanding concerns about the quality of housing.
The Inter-House Council, made up of representatives from each residence hall’s house council, runs inter-building events and competitions such as the House Cup and advocates for residents’ concerns and needs. Although they meet weekly to discuss ongoing issues in the buildings and organize programs for the students, the organization also held the recent town-hall event to give students not involved in their house councils the opportunity to directly express their concerns to the council.
The town-hall meeting touched upon a plethora of concerns, starting with the mold situation in the bathrooms and the recent policy against using bleach to get rid of mold. Residents cited examples of excessive mold in their buildings—representatives from Hanselman Hall cited an incident in which the mold on their shower curtains had grown so much that Public Safety had to close the bathroom for several hours in order to take down the contaminated curtains.
“We had been putting work orders in a couple of weeks before break, and nothing was done to treat or replace them,” Vidya Madineedi ’20, a resident on the fourth floor of Hanselman, explained. “Finally, after break, I saw that the black mold had quadrupled since it first started. I knew those were not safe for us to touch or breathe in particles.”
Although environmental awareness provoked the new bleach policy, students communicated the point that repeatedly replacing the non-biodegradable shower curtains could present a higher environmental risk and can increase spending in the residence halls. They also expressed that residents’ health should take priority over environmental awareness.
In addition to the mold, students mentioned concern over housing availability for upperclassmen. Questions included inquiries on limited off-campus housing and the placement of the rising seniors in Alumni and Carlin Halls, buildings that were previously exclusive to juniors. There were also suggestions of allowing all seniors swipe access to both Figge and Williams Halls. The members of the Inter-House Council promised to further pursue these concerns.
The town hall was a great opportunity for students to be more involved in residential life decisions and take part in their community. The participants left knowing their voices and opinions on housing were heard.