Letter to the editor: Mold in Ford Hall is unacceptable, K-State must take action

The outside of Ford Hall. (Archive photo by Jessica Robbins | Collegian Media Group)

This letter to the editor was written by Jonathan Cole, student senator and senior in mechanical engineering. If you would like to write a letter to the Collegian, send us an email at letters@kstatecollegian.com or visit kstatecollegian.com/contact.

Like many students at Kansas State, I have found myself concerned with the horrific stories of unsanitary, unsafe living conditions in our on-campus living spaces.

Sitting in student senate last Thursday, I listened to Derek Jackson, associate vice president of Housing and Dining, speak on the action plan for the mold found in the residence halls. While I appreciate what he was trying to do, Jackson’s words were not comforting.

Looking at any social media post regarding the mold found in Ford Hall reveals the living conditions many students are facing in their on-campus residences: everything from unsightly black masses growing on pipes to freezing cold rooms created by shoddy maintenance done to rattling windows.

Several students and parents have shared the struggles of getting anyone to address the mold issue, with little to no success.

Jackson had mentioned over and over that a lot of the mold was “inactive” and posed no serious threat to students. While this may be the case, as soon as the environment becomes ready for mold to thrive again, it becomes a health issue. This is still a huge threat to students.

K-State will tout that on-campus living is inherently beneficial. In fact, K-State will strongly urge students to live on campus, especially for students in their first year. Admissions even says, “Students who live in the residence halls are more likely to finish their degrees and receive better grades than students who live off campus during the first year or two of college.”

Yet, with the ever rising cost of college, students are often paying ridiculous amounts to live on campus. The cheapest on-campus living option goes for $2,450. This works out to be close to $500 a month to live on campus, not including the additional charges students must pay to stay during breaks or any of the meal plans.

K-State must serve its students better.

With students struggling to pay for things like food, rent, medical costs and other essential things, K-State has a moral obligation to provide safe and affordable on-campus living for its students.

I call upon President Richard Myers, vice president Pat Bosco and associate vice president Derek Jackson to not only provide a safe living environment for students currently living on campus, but to make on-campus living accessible and affordable for all students.

Jonathan Cole is a student senator, RESULTS REAL Change fellow and senior in mechanical engineering. The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.