By: Matt Galka
January 7, 2016
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- College students around the state returned to their dorms at FSU this week, and some of them found a nasty surprise. We spoke with students about the mold that was waiting for them when they got back to campus.
It was on the floors, tables, even her shoes. Florida State University freshman Stefanie Prieto says mold was everywhere in her dorm room in Smith Hall when she returned from winter break.
“I came back on Sunday night, and the moment I walked in it just smelled disgusting and there was like mold all over the floors, all over the furniture, all over my items,” she said.
Her room wasn’t the only one with a mold problem. Pictures were shared on social media showing mold on pillow cases and walls in other rooms.
“The air quality definitely makes people cough, I know when I moved in over the fall, I got bronchitis because of the air quality, and I know people are still getting sick now after they moved in from winter break,” said Prieto.
Fellow freshman Nicholas Conrad said he didn’t feel healthy living in the dorm. “Yeah, I’m just uncomfortable, but there’s not much I can really do,” he said.
Florida State’s University Housing Department said that despite the mold, the building was still deemed 'livable.'
Director Shannon Staten said that about 50 rooms were affected and that their health and safety department discovered the mold just before students came back.
“We started immediately with staff and cleaned the rooms we found, and made sure we were getting in there and trying to get it cleared up,” Staten said.
Staten blamed the problem on muggy and wet weather in Tallahassee over Christmas break, and the doors and windows staying closed in the old building.
Students say the mold has been removed, but the strong smell lingers.
The University Housing Department has a policy for students that want to move out, but it’s only allowed if a doctor determines that the building is making the student sick.