Dorms are causing health issues among students

Pearce Ford Tower has been an all female dorm on WKU’s campus since Fall of 2013. It is both one of the oldest and the tallest buildings on campus. Students have different perspectives on the building but a common census is the need for renovations.

Natasha Breu

Sickness in dorms caused by unclean environments is common, according to the residents who live there.

While dorm life may already have a questionable reputation, it is certainly not everyone’s ideal place to live. Complaints about getting sick have mainly come from freshmen and sophomores who are required by Housing and Residence Life to live on campus for their first two years of college.

Mold seems to be the culprit among many instances, according to several students. Several have come forward voicing their dissatisfaction with housing.


Hannah Martin, a resident of Pearce-Ford Tower, said mold is the reason why she has chronic throat infections, which caused her to have to get her tonsils removed during spring break. She also said that her boyfriend, a resident of Barnes-Campbell Hall, has been sick due to similar causes.

Mold is also a problem for Abby Palmiter, another resident of PFT, who said living there has made her asthma much worse.

“I had to clean my vents after break and went through over 10 Clorox wipes trying to get mold off the vents,” Palmiter said.

Palmiter said her friend has also had mono and infected lymph nodes.

Medical leave was almost required last semester for Bemis Lawrence Hall resident Kaley Keel because she missed class so often due to illness, she said. Her tonsils almost had to be removed because they were constantly infected.

A wide range of medical problems have been reported by on-campus residents.

Freshman Taylor Kirsh said students are frustrated with their living conditions and even more upset that they can’t get out of it because of the housing requirement.

“I believe second-year students should be free to live wherever we want,” Kirsch said. “Dorms are supposed to help students get acclimated to WKU, something second-year students don’t need help with.”

Some may try to get exempted from the requirement by providing medical notes, but there’s a chance they will declined by Housing and Residence Life. Those looking for an exemption from the policy must submit paperwork to HRL explaining why the exemption should be given.

News reporter Natasha Breu can be reached at 808-343-7632 and [email protected].