5 On Your Side

In age of coronavirus, mother finds UNC-Chapel Hill didn't even clean son's dorm room

Posted July 31, 2020 5:35 p.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2020 8:38 p.m. EDT

— While university administrators across North Carolina have spent weeks preparing to bring students back to their campuses amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, one mother says University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill missed a basic step: cleaning the dormitories.

Amanda Edwards said that, when she walked into the Ram Village 5 building to help her son move in, the filth she saw was a complete disconnect with all of the talk during the pandemic of frequent cleaning and sanitizing surfaces to limit the spread of the virus.

"I'm like, 'Oh, my God.' They did not clean anything, Edwards said. "You figure you’re going to have to do some cleaning because you want to do what’s right for your kid. But given the current times, I was, like, 'Wait a minute.' This is just inconsistent. This makes no sense."

The filthy floor included a condom wrapper. The common area was even worse, she said.

"I was like, 'This is gross.' There was, like, piles of nail clippings. I was like, 'Come on, how sanitary is this?'" she said.

"When we saw the sink," she said of the kitchen area, "I was, like, 'What is this in the sink?' It looked like almost mop mud or something."

Allan Blattner, executive director of Carolina Housing, immediately dispatched a a cleaning crew to the building.

"We are very disappointed to hear about the condition of this student’s room and are addressing the issue right now," Blattner said in a statement. "We found out about the situation this morning, and a cleaning crew is currently being sent to the student’s room."

Carolina Housing also emailed Edwards to apologize, adding that, with 4,000 dormitory rooms and the campus opening a week earlier than normal, housekeepers have "been up against a very tight schedule."

"I’ve already cleaned his room, but I hope you would do better for the other students coming in on [Aug.] 10th to make sure the floors get cleaned and things get wiped down," Edwards said. "I was just shocked because they made such a big deal out of COVID and how we’re going to keep your kids safe."

UNC-Chapel Hill and other universities have online "Fix My Room" sites where students can send an email to get problems with their dormitory rooms addressed.

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