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Students complain of botch-ups in apartment area cleanup

Serious problems such as leaks and mold in the apartment area have been made worse after the hurricanes and have not been fixed by the University, two students living there said.

Chloe Daley, junior, said her apartment was rife with problems, which were only aggravated by the storms.

“[Before Katrina] we called in, saying we had really bad leaks,” she said. “The lady at 8-CARE said they’d fix our showerhead but not our windows.”

Daley said that upon following up on the problem, 8-CARE denied making that statement.

Additionally, Daley said that there is mold in the apartment, and that after showering, “me and my roommate would go to sleep and start wheezing. We called both Housing and 8-CARE, and they said ‘no, there’s no mold,’ even though this isn’t normal.”

Mold doesn’t seem to be the only problem in the apartments.

“My roof fell in on my apartment, and I was going to the airport, and it was the guys below me who called and told me,” Alexsandra Skulte, junior, said. “The school hasn’t called me. I had to go to the housing department and they told me I’ve been moved.”

Skulte said she felt cheated by the school.

“I think that for the amount of money that we pay to this school, the school should be responsible enough to make sure these buildings are structurally sound,” she said. “Somebody could have gotten seriously injured or died.”

However, Jon Baldessari, associate director of residence halls, said he hasn’t heard of such complaints.

“I haven’t heard anything about mold. I would encourage these students to come to the housing department if they have specific concerns,” he said.

Baldessari, who made it clear that it was work being done on the roof, not the hurricanes, that caused the cave-ins, said the cleanup and repair efforts are going well.

“We’ve been out in that area every day after the storm, working with Physical Plant,” he said. “Every time I walk around, I see a lot of work being done.”

Vic Apherton, assistant vice president for facility administration, saw one of the caved-in apartments and estimated repairs would be complete soon.

“The place is a mess, but the students were vacated,” he said.

Regardless, Daley is still dissatisfied and is considering legal action.

“They never tore out the bathroom ceiling. They just globbed white paint over it, or at least that’s what it looks like,” she said. “I’m not living on campus next year.”

Jay Rooney can be contacted at j.rooney@umiami.edu.

November 8, 2005

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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