WKU dorm residents petition mold after months of no changes

Barren River District Health Dept. has no power

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Students in one Western Kentucky University dorm say they are so frustrated with their living conditions that they have started a petition for the university to repair their dorms.

When the A/C kicks on in McClean Hall, dorm residents prepare for continuously loud vent sounds and if you look closely, you can see the mold sitting inside the vent. 

McClean Hall resident sophomore Nicole Brunner said, “I used to be really healthy before I came here, and now every time I go home it’s something. It’s dropped, some strand of flu, mono. I have a permanent mold cough now, It sounds like I smoke 10 packs a day.” 

She went to the doctor back in January when she first noticed her mold cough symptoms. Her doctor wrote a note explicitly saying that the mold was the culprit, and she cannot continue living in that environment if she wanted her immune system to recover. She says there’s been no change for her or anyone else in the dorm here at the end of the semester. 

Also, two weeks ago, Brunner took a shower with no hot water. She ask other residents and the dorm if they were having problems and quickly found this was a dorm-wide issue. 

She said that over her time living in four different Western dorms, she’s experienced cockroach problems, broken washing machines, and went through sheltering from December’s tornados right next to a window.

“It definitely feels like radio silence,” Brunner said. “It feels like radio Silence from everybody. Our RA is amazing, but she doesn’t know all the answers.”

Another McLean all Resident, Kayla Distler, started a petition demanding WKU demanding action and partial reimbursement for their housing due to the extent of these issues.

The students were shocked to learn that the Barren River District Health Department has no power to intervene.

Barren River District Health Department public information officer Ashley McCarty said, “Kentucky actually doesn’t have any laws or regulations or standards for permissible exposure of mold and buildings, so for that reason the health department doesn’t have the authority to react on any complaints involving mold.”

Brunner said, “It almost feels like a scam because we’re paying so much money, but in return we get the bare minimum”

WKU director of media relations Jace Lux released a written statement to News 40 when we asked him about these unsolved issues. The statement says:

“The university is committed to providing safe and comfortable living environments for our residential students. WKU is aware of the petition currently circulating regarding McLean Hall. Housing and Residence Life staff members are in the process of meeting with residents to ensure their concerns are resolved.”

News 40 will keep you updated on this story.