ASU seniors say mushrooms, mold grow in their dorm

ASU seniors say mushrooms, mold grow in their dorm
Brown said this is what her dorm bathroom look like on Friday (Source: Ashli Brown)
Brown said this is what her dorm bathroom look like on Friday (Source: Ashli Brown)
Ashli Brown (left) and Fantasia Gorham (right) (Source: WALB)
Ashli Brown (left) and Fantasia Gorham (right) (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Two Albany State University seniors said there are mushrooms growing in their Albany State University dorm room.

And that's not all-- the students said they have mold in their vents.

ASU seniors Ashli Brown and Fantasia Gorham said they've called everyone and done everything they can possibly think of to remove the mold, mildew, and fungus.

But they said the most the school's done is make temporary fixes,and  the mold just keeps coming back.

Brown and Gorham have lived together for the past three years and said they have never experienced issues like what's growing in their dorm room's bathroom.  They said it's gross, and they want something done.

"I've never even seen anything like this," said Brown.  "I never even thought this was possible to happen."

Brown said there are mushrooms sprouting out of the bottom of their toilet.

"I'm disgusted," she said.  "I don't even feel comfortable sitting on the toilet."

She also had pictures of mold on the air vent.

"It's been there since we moved in," said Gorham.  "The mold on the vent.  It didn't grow.  It was already there."

It's a problem these ASU roommates said they first noticed within the first month after they moved in in August.  That's when the dorm was inspected.

"On the back of the inspection sheet they said, 'Mold and mildew found on the vents,'" recalled Brown.  "When the person actually came out to clean, he didn't even use any products to clean, or anything.  He used some of our tissue, he wiped it, and threw it away in our trashcan, our bathroom and said it was just dust."

And just this past Thursday, they found mushrooms growing.

"We were cleaning," said Gorham. "We decided to lift up the rug to Swiffer up the floor.  And it was just sitting there.  And the mushroom."

They said the mushrooms are stemming from an issue they've already reported to ASU-- some sort of leak around their toilet.

"Sometime in September, I made a report that every time I flushed the toilet my hands are wet," said Brown.  "So I was saying, 'Something is going on with our toilet.  It's leaking.'  So when I went and reported that, they came back and said, 'No it's precipitation.'"

But Brown said that answer didn't make sense.

"It wasn't precipitation," she said.  "Sometimes, even after not taking a shower, we've been out all day, why is the toilet handle still wet?  It's just not adding up."

Brown said she tried to contact an RA at the dorm with no luck.  Then she said she called the ASU Police Department, who told her they couldn't help.

She then called the University System of Georgia and then Campus Housing.

"They cleaned it Friday," said Brown.  "And here it is Tuesday and it's growing back already."

Brown and Gorham said they feel as if the school isn't taking their complaints seriously, and they want something to be done.

"They should inspect the dorms before we move in," said Brown.  "This should not be something that we should even have to see."

We asked ASU for a statement in response to the students' complaints.

This is what ASU Transition Team Communication Lead Maritza E.  Ferreira said:

On Friday, Nov. 3, we received a report regarding the presence of mold and fungus in a dorm room. That same day, the housing facilities team responded and confirmed that microbial growth was present in two bathrooms. Both bathrooms we immediately cleaned and treated.

Today, we have contractors on campus who are doing further remediation by: checking the exhaust fan to ensure it is working properly; cleaning the air ducts; and reviewing the plumbing.

On Friday, the day of the reported issue, students were offered alternative housing accommodations and the option to move to a different dorm room. They selected to stay in their current room, however out of an abundance of caution we will be moving the students.

In addition, over the next two weeks, we will be conducting a full review of the entire dorm to ensure similar issues do not exist.

Our primary goal is to provide a safe and quality living environment for students to pursue their education.


What is the protocol for inspection of dorm rooms on campus? 

Each semester (spring, summer, fall) dorms are inspected before students move in and classes begin. The inspection includes a detailed cleaning, as well as, any additional maintenance that may be needed.

What is the procedure done when a student complains of mold, mildew, etc. in a dorm room?

Students are to report any housing issues to their resident assistant or housing manager. A work order is then submitted to the housing facilities team. Any emergency is addressed within 24 hours. Non-emergency issues are addressed within 48 hours.

The university is responsible for addressing any issues regarding microbial growth.

What is told to students to prevent mold, mildew, etc. from growing?

Students are advised to maintain the cleanliness of their dorms rooms to avoid these types of issues.


Was the mold, mildew, etc. detected in this particular dorm room's bathroom BEFORE the student moved in in August?

No mold, fungus or mildew was detected in the room before students moved in.

I would like to see if I could get a confirmation on the inspections done at this particular dorm room.

This past summer an external contractor noted on July 10, 2017 that there was a running toilet in this dorm room. Repairs were completed on July 13, 2017. A facility assessment was completed on July 25, 2017 by another external contractor, and no microbial growth issues were reported. In addition, a contracted cleaning vendor cleaned the dorm in August before students moved in and no microbial growth was identified at this time. 

The student wants to know whether they'll be charged for their dorm next semester ($2,000) or if it would be waived due to the mold, mildew, and fungus conditions in this particular room this semester. 

Students will be charged housing fees for next semester.

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