Students say mold in UNC-CH housing making them sick

Posted October 10, 2019 7:13 p.m. EDT

— A student housing complex at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has mold in its ventilation system, and students said Thursday that it's taking a toll on their health.

Granville Towers, an off-campus complex owned by a UNC foundation, sent an email to residents this week that a contractor has been hired to determine the best way to get rid of the mold, but that the process will take several weeks.

Student Peyton Vannatta said she and her roommate had to see a doctor because of health problems. Initially, they were told it was fall allergies, she said.

"I was coughing. I had, like, irritated eyes," Vannatta said. "I had a headache that lasted three days. I was super-congested."

Resident Michael Langston knows how she feels.

"Every morning, I wake up kind of sick, so that’s the biggest thing for me," Langston said. "I have a really bad cough, and my throat hurts."

After Vannatta's and her roommate's parents complained about the situation, Granville Towers management professionally cleaned their room while the students stayed at a hotel. Cleaning crews are now going room by room in the complex to do the same for all residents.

"It’s good that they're cleaning everyone’s rooms," Vannatta said. "I just, I don't know. It seems kind of like a late reaction."

As the rooms are cleaned, other students will likewise get a two-day hotel stay paid for by Granville Towers.

"They’ve definitely done like a sufficient amount, if they’re going to move us to hotels," resident Andrew Townend said. "The ones on the list are like Carolina inn, The Franklin – they're like really nice places. So, it’s not really a big deal."

Other residents were more concerned about the situation.

"I think the measures could’ve been taken a little bit sooner," Kaelan Amin said.

"I think it would be really hard logistically to move everyone out, but if that were an option, yeah, I probably would," Vannatta said. "Get it all cleaned as fast as possible. I think a faster pace would be more ideal."

Granville Towers management said any upperclassman who wants to move now and break the lease can do so without penalty. First-year students are allowed to transfer to any available on-campus housing without penalty.

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