Over 400 Reports of Mold in IU Dorms

Mold has been an off-again-on-again problem in the dorms at Indiana University. And it’s on again. Experts say the mold problem is even worse this time–serious enough to merit bringing in remediation experts wearing masks, and move some students out, temporarily. The affected residence halls are Foster and McNutt.

Many student in the dorms report being sick from the day they moved in, and many of them are freshman having their first experience living away from home. Following the widespread  concern from parents, students and the faculty, the university jump-started remediation efforts.

Some students say they’ve been unusually sick,  and they link it to the mold.

IU freshman, Maria Gomez told IU NewsNet, “I’ve been tired, like constantly tired, nauseous–not even just tired–exhausted.”

Three IU freshman, Lizzie Martinez, Anabel Pedilla and Maria Gomez, who live in McNutt  they say they’ve been sick since move-in day. Recently, crews found mold covering the air conditioning pipes to their room. Martinez says  a health specialist confirmed the mold was causing their illness.

“You’re putting us at risk,” Lizzie Martinez, said. “She’s upset she spent her first few months at college being sick. “(The university) kind of like lied to us that this is a safe place to live.”

Crews are still examining all dorm rooms and testing the air quality for mold. They say all rooms will be cleaned even if there is no visible mold, in order to be as cautious as possible.

IU freshman Anabel Pedilla said, “…and they’re forcing freshmen to live in those dorms, we don’t have any other place to live.”

There are about 900 dorms between Foster and McNutt Quads, all located on North Fee Lane, leaving crews to remove mold from as many as possible. Some dorms needed the entire carpet replaced, forcing students in those rooms to move out entirely.

Gomez said, “People that come and check them, (air conditioning units) are in full hazmat suits and we’re just– like– living there.”

All students living in Foster and McNutt residence halls have the option to relocate to another dorms’ lounge or to empty dorms while the mold is being removed. Students are also given free laundry and free transportation to compensate for the inconvenience.


Students living and both McNutt and Foster are told if they are experiencing trouble breathing or other allergic reactions, then they need to visit the IU Health Center. 

In light of the mold situation, President McRobbie issued a statement to all faculty asking that professors be more lenient about absences. Some students say they had to have their midterms pushed back due to sickness or being forced out of their dorms.

McRobbie said the university will reimburse all students medical costs or moving out costs as a result of the mold in their dorms.

“What we’ve done is a full-scale operation here,” Ben Hunter, Superintendent of Public Safety said. “As students and parents bring it to our attention, we are investigating every case (and) we’re bringing in extra crews.”

Officials say they believe the mold was caused by the high temperatures heading into September and October this year. When students leave their air conditioning on or open their windows, it causes a lot of moisture circulation, thus causing the mold. 

 “We want to make sure this is addressed,” Chuck Carney, IU spokesperson said. “The ultimate goal is so we don’t have to return to this at any other point, and everybody to be comfortable about where they are living.”

Carney says he believes the colder temperatures of the fall season will also help reduce the amount of mold in the dorms. Until then, there is a website with daily updates, resources and more details about the situation.