Residents of Vedder Hall Deal with Mold in Vents

Juliette Gaggini, News Co-Editor

Residents of Vedder Hall, located at the heart of the University’s lower campus, recently went into a state of panic as mold was discovered in students’ rooms.

Completed in 1965, the dorm is set to be renovated this 2021-22 school year. With the recent stress around the mold, and students being required to move out midway through the school year for renovations, many students are upset about the current environment in the Vedder community. 

An email was sent to Vedder residents regarding the mold by the University’s Director of Safety and Risk Management, Gregg Rokavec. “Bucknell Environmental Health & Safety, Facilities and Housing are investigating these reports, and the University is taking every possible step to ensure your health, safety and comfort. To quickly address this situation, we have retained a certified industrial hygienist to examine the areas in question,” Rokavec said. 

Along with reassurance to students that the situation was being addressed, the email also offered some tips to help prevent humidity and the growth of mold, including how to run the fans at a good temperature, when to open the windows and where to hang damp towels.

Despite the attempts to reassure students, many Vedder residents did not buy into the response the University offered. “It’s surprising that there’s mold in Vedder considering how the University always talks about the importance of student health,” First-year and Vedder resident Sam Novak ’25 said.

Novak continued saying, “If student health is always talked about by the school’s administration, then it would be expected that the housing is frequently inspected and that the living conditions be the same in each hall.”

Another Vedder resident, Annabelle Kaeli ’24, also expressed concern about the current living situation in Vedder. “My experience in Vedder so far has been far from great. I moved into a room that hadn’t been cleaned since the end of last semester. There was mold on the air conditioner and the floors were sticky and covered in strangers’ hair. The rooms are incredibly humid and my clothes are always wet, whether they’re in my drawers or hung up in my closet,” Kaeli said.

Kaeli also mentioned concern for the health of students. “People in my hall are getting sick from the mold, which is unacceptable. The health of students should be a priority. On top of all of this, some students in the dorm have to move out after the fall semester and we don’t know where we are moving to.”

Students have even taken to a recent app phenomenon on campus, YikYak, to express their feelings towards the mold situation. One anonymous student said, “Only Vedder would not only have mold in the first place, but then send three men into your room at 7:30am while you’re sleeping to clean the vents.”

Juliana Rodrigues ’24 is an RA in Vedder who handled the concerns of many worried residents. “As an RA in Vedder it has been difficult with residents being scared because once people start talking about it things definitely get more dramatized and as only an RA I did not have an exact answer for them. During our staff meeting our director, Robert Liebel, was really reassuring by just telling us that mold is not everywhere and if students are concerned they should put a work order in,” Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues continued saying, “I think it is under control for the most part now but the situation definitely caused a lot of panic.”

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