It was bad enough a spike in COVID cases on campus landed dozens of local college students in a quarantine dorm— but when they arrived, some tell 7 Investigates they were shocked at what happened next.
Brown water coming from the faucet.
Dirty and dusty rooms.
Deliveries of disgusting food.
“This looks like a science project,” a male student said.
“It was gross. It was unsanitary,” a female student said.
These Fitchburg State University students don’t want to show their faces. But they are sharing their pictures, videos, and stories exclusively with 7–Investigates.
They didn’t experience these conditions in a bad spring break rental.
They experienced them in COVID quarantine inside a dorm.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” another male student said.
The students paid to live in the dorms and for meal plans. But when they were exposed to COVID, the school gave them a choice: quarantine off-campus or immediately gather up their belongings and move to a school quarantine area.
Many that opted to stay at school got an unpleasant surprise.
“How would you describe how it was?” Hank asked.
“It was just dirty, honestly, it was just a very dirty place,” a male student said.
The students got an email from the school telling them “do not exit the building.”
“We weren’t allowed to leave the suite that we were assigned to,” a male student said.
They were also told: “no deliveries of food or other items”
“We had to rely solely on the school for food,” a female student said.
And this is what they say they got: expired, discolored orange juice.
“I was pretty disgusted,” a female student said.
Salad that seems to be rotten.
“I thought it was crazy,” a male student said.
And inside this potato chip bag one student says he found bugs.
“I felt like I was going to throw up,” a male student said.
Other students documented a different problem with bugs. They shared pictures of dead bugs on windowsills.
“Honestly, it was a hellhole,” a male student said.
And others are upset about dirty bathrooms and trash that lined the hallways.
“I just felt on edge the whole time,” a male student said.
Fitchburg State tells us they had to quarantine 54 students in campus housing during a spike in COVID cases earlier this year.
They say: “The operational challenges created by the pandemic have been a learning experience for all of us.”
But they say they didn’t see any bugs and when students complained about expired food it was quickly replaced. They also say they tried to keep up with trash collection.
School officials say while their quarantine system hasn’t been perfect, it helped prevent a COVID outbreak on campus.
Many students hope if COVID hits campus again the school will handle things differently.
“It felt like I was in prison. Like I felt like I was serving a prison sentence,” a male student said.
“It was really disappointing to see, and I really don’t want it to happen again,” a female student said.
Fitchburg State officials tell us they responded quickly to any concerns students raised and always take the health and well-being of students very seriously.
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