Mold, mildew and leaks: what’s next?

By Kit Weber and Claire Yetzer

Photo editor, staff reporter,

Updated March 19, 2019 and April 8, 2019

College dorm rooms are notorious for filth but mold is just another issue for Ohio Wesleyan University students.

Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) students living in Smith and Hayes Residence Halls on campus have been complaining about mold and leaks within the buildings.

A problem that students face is failing pipes within Smith Hall, a residence hall that can accommodate 229 students.

“ The leaks in Smith are more widespread in the building and caused by failing pipes.  We repair these as they arise as quickly as possible,” Peter Schantz, director of buildings and grounds said. “The design for a complete renovation of Smith is underway.  This work will replace all of the plumbing and mechanical systems in the building and eliminate these problems.”

Another problem that students are experiencing is mold within their dorm rooms.

“At the beginning of the year, we had a lot of mold in our room to the point where the bottom of our curtains were covered and had to be thrown away. They eventually came and cleaned it with bleach and gave us new curtains but there is still some on the walls,” Sophomore Ari McPheters said.

OWU fired Aramark as the provider for cleaning services in February, Resident Assistant Mona Lynch said. Students on campus have expressed their displeasure with Aramark’s services.

Housekeeping services were contacted.

“I am sorry but unfortunately it is against Aramark’s policy for me to interview with any media sources,” Aramark’s Cleaning Services said.

“Our shower usually has stayed pretty clean but recently it’s been getting a lot of mold on the floor and it seems like every time they come and clean nothing looks clean,” McPheters said.

The university is currently looking for a new company to outsource their cleaning services.

“As you know, we’re searching for a new provider. That process is ongoing and should be wrapped up by the end of the academic year,” Brian Emerick, director of residence life said.

The Chicago Sun has reported about the problems with cleanliness within the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). CPS officials had been investigating the cleanliness of their schools throughout 2018. Aramark was responsible for the cleaning services within 125 schools that CPS surprise inspected, with only 34 schools passing inspection.

SEIU Local 1, a union group that represents custodial workers, is a part of the investor group that owns the Chicago Sun. CPS is trying to fix the problem by hiring more custodians during the school year and over the summer months but has kept Aramark on as its service provider.