Months following the flooding of Sept. 11, students voiced frustrations about mold at Marquette Hall and Loyola’s communication and response about repairs.
Students Upset by Loyola’s Response to Marquette Hall’s Mold and Flooding Issues
Two months after the flooding at Loyola’s Marquette Hall dorm, students expressed frustrations about mold growth, poisoning and dorm repairs.
After heavy rainfall Sept. 11, flooding was reported in 36 Loyola buildings. Inches of water leaked into Marquette’s lobby and dorm rooms, The Phoenix reported. Months later, students voiced frustrations about physical symptoms from being exposed to the mold.
Junior Alex Stratmann said he experienced symptoms a day after the flooding, when he came in contact with mold in his dorm while removing his personal items to relocate from Marquette to Fordham Hall on Sept. 13.
“Within that day, I was having symptoms,” Stratmann, a third-year cognitive and behavioral neuroscience major, said. “Coughing, sneezing, itchy throat, all the signs of an allergic reaction.”
Aiden Stammler, a senior majoring in history, lives on the third floor of Marquette and said he didn’t experience direct damage in his dorm from the flooding, but had concerns about the spread of mold through air circulation.
“Clearly mold was growing in a lot of areas in the second floor, especially on their carpets, that could easily get into the air vents,” Stammler said.
Stratmann said he went to Physicians Immediate Care two separate times, on Sept. 13 and Sept. 16, along with having a virtual meeting with his allergist, and Stratmann believes it was because of mold poisoning.
“Once, because of the severity of the symptoms, once because of a sinus infection, then once because I was worried about a lung issue,” Stratmann said.
Stratmann said he recalls many areas impacted from the flooding which needed to be addressed.
“There is carpet on multiple floors that they haven’t replaced that should most definitely be replaced, not just dried out,” Stratmann said. “There are baseboards that need to be replaced.”
Stratmann said he has not gone back to his former Marquette room since the flooding and action needs to be taken to ensure the room remains an adequate living space.
“If they are going to claim that room as habitable and make someone live there, they should put in some measures, so it doesn’t flood,” Stratmann said. “This has obviously happened on more than one occasion and if someone gets put in there, like me, who’s very allergic to mold, then that is going to be a problem for them again.”
Jordan Ahlersmeyer-Huang, associate director for housing operations, responded to questions regarding Marquette’s flooding and mold issues on behalf of himself and Dr. Des’mon Taylor, the director of residence life.
“We did work with a few residents who needed to relocate for larger repairs, and at this point, all of those repairs have been completed,” Ahlersemyer-Huang said.
Abby Gigler, a junior majoring in biology with a pre-med track, lives on the second floor and said she tried to reach out to Residence Life about a repair for her floor board but has gotten no response.
“I don’t know if anything is growing under there,” Gigler said, referring to her request about her floorboard being in need of repair. “I never really heard anything back so I put another maintenance request and it’s still not fixed.”
Stammler said though they replaced the carpets with mold on the second floor of Marquette, there was a lack of communication about the time it would take for the repairs.
“They still haven’t given us any solid reason up to this date on why it took them so long to remove the molded carpets on the second floor,” Stammler said.
Gigler said the morning of the flooding, she was relocated to three different places and felt there was not proper communication about the situation.
“That morning I went to like three different places, they kept moving us around and I didn’t even get to talk to anyone till hours afterwards” Gigler said.
In 2019, multiple students living in St. Louis Hall reported becoming ill from mold growing in the building, The Phoenix reported.
Two students living in Campion Hall were relocated to another residence hall in September after raising concerns over possible mold growth and continued flooding, The Phoenix reported.
Ahlersmeyer-Huang said communication with students is prioritized and they are usually the first to be informed when problems arise in their residence hall.
“Our students are often the first to be aware of an issue within their residence hall, and the importance of early communication cannot be understated” Ahlersmeyer-Huang said.
Stammler said he hopes Loyola will address residents’ concerns through action.
“I just want them to show that their statements mean action,” Stammler said. “That they will work on their actions.”
The flooding of Sept. 11 caused the relocation of students from Campion Hall to Mertz Hall and there were confirmed cases of mold, The Phoenix reported.