Students call on Wayne State University to improve student housing after moving into a mess

Posted at 6:29 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 00:15:21-04

A Wayne State University student called 7 Action News for help fixing her school. She says she moved on campus excited for a new semester and soon found herself disgusted.

The first problem happened before she got to her apartment on move-in day.  Only one out of three elevators was working in the 15-story building.

Then, there was her apartment.

“It smelled like pure garbage,” said Haley Barnes, a Wayne State University Student.

The toilet would not flush.  She asked when it might be repaired.

“We were told, I am not a plumber, I don’t know when the toilet will be fixed,” said Barnes.

The previous resident’s garbage was scattered around the room.  The carpeting was stained and dirty.  The fridge was filled with food that had been rotting for months.

“There was a Jet’s Pizza box. The whole door of the fridge was filled with booze. There was rotten fruit,” said Barnes.

She says a campus worker told her to commute until the issues are addressed. She said she asked for a rent refund, but no promises were made.

We wanted to know if it was an isolated incident.  We approached dozens of students. About one third raised serious concerns about cleanliness in the building.  A couple agreed to give interviews.

Ryan Coleman says his room was filled with trash, the furniture was broken, the shower wouldn’t drain, there was someone else’s hair all over the shower and bathroom floor, and the fridge was filled with rotting food.

“It was nasty.  I wouldn’t touch it.  My parents cleaned it out,” said Coleman.

Elizabeth Lombardo described a similar situation.  She said her sink was filled with rotten food, there was leftover spaghetti in the cupboards, the carpet was stained, the shower was filled with mildew, there was the previous resident’s urine on the bathroom floor, and there was no operational blinds on some of the windows.

“I was so excited to move on campus. I was thinking this is going to be great. It is my first time living away from my parents.  I kept telling myself it was awesome.  I tried to live in denial, but it was just gross,” said Lombardo.

These conditions are in apartments students pay $5,000 to $6,000 per semester with no meal plan included.

“I should have my own chef for the amount I am paying,” said Barnes.

7 Action News reached out to the university for action.  A spokesperson quickly arrived at the apartment and started asking questions about why this was happening.

“This is a top priority for us. We certainly understand this is not acceptable and we are taking care of it as fast as we can,” said Mike Brinich, Associate Director of Communications.

He said he has been told one student so far is approved for a prorated refund due to the unlivable conditions in the apartment.  He did not know if it was one of the students we spoke to.

Brunch said repairs should be made by Friday.  If students say it isn’t taken care of, 7 Action News will follow up.