NSU denies allegations of mold in dorms

Despite recent renovations, Northwestern State University’s Varnado Hall is no stranger to unsatisfied residents.

Originally, the residence hall was criticized for maintenance issues, a lack of promised amenities and strict rules which were met with affirmations from the university that this was what students signed up for, and nothing was guaranteed to be completed upon arrival.

In early March, student Shelby Loftin posted on the Northwestern State Student Concerns Facebook group photos of the mold, but the post was quickly removed. Loftin said this was because of profane language and for “calling out” Dean of Students Frances Conine.

In the post, Loftin acknowledged NSU did move her to another room on campus after her complaint last semester, but she was not allowed to break her lease.

Shreveport-based media outlet KTBS published a story March 15 that featured Loftin and roommate McKay Crews detailing the issue.

“It worried me as to how it happened, especially since I had not worn them,” Crews said to KTBS of a pair of sandals that looked to have mold on them. “Everybody always gets sick, and we don’t know why.”

The sandals were just one example provided by Crews. Loftin posted photos on Facebook of other shoes and surfaces in her room that appeared to have mold growing on them. She also claimed her doctor acknowledged her living conditions aggravated her asthma.

NSU said Loftin’s photos could not be verified, and spokesperson Leah Jackson said there was no mold found in Loftin’s room after an inspection.

“Initially, there were some issues with plumbing and dampness, but those issues were resolved and no mold was detected,” according to the statement that acknowledged the October 2017 complaint.

NSU also stated it is dedicated to students’ health and safety, and that no mold was detected as of the most recent dorm inspections in February.

Students are encouraged to report any maintenance needs to housing staff.

Zoe Almaraz

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