University releases statement on mold contamination

Jaxon White, News Section Co-Editor

Following multiple reports of mold contamination in various dorms across campus, the University has issued a statement about the claims. 

“Mold has been identified in Vedder Hall, Hunt Hall and Swartz Hall, and one apartment on West campus. The University has had the air tested by third party certified industrial hygienists and several areas have indicated elevated mold counts but the mold is of the common non-toxic variety,” Mike Ferlazzo, director of media relations & communications, said.

Ferlazzo added that there is no evidence of “toxic” mold in the dorms. 

“Bucknell Student Health has not diagnosed student illnesses directly related to mold,” Ferlazzo said. 

The University facilities team, along with third party service technicians, have been put in charge of inspecting and cleaning HVAC units and individual student rooms affected by mold, according to the release. 

“The University has also placed HEPA air scrubbers and instituted HEPA vacuuming of hallways in those spaces. Custodians and contracted service technicians are wiping down surfaces of furniture in all student rooms,” Ferlazzo said. 

Each apartment in West Campus, also known as the Mods, was inspected for mold. On September 14, University Housing Services sent an email to notify residents of the cleanings.

Kate Amaddio ’23 lived with her roommates in the Mods. That was until Housing Services told her that they needed to relocate as soon as possible. 

“We found out that the other half of our mod had reported mold before getting any notification from the school. We never received any confirmation from facilities or housing that our half of the mod had mold or that we had to move out until we took the initiative to go talk to housing. When my roommates went to the housing office, they were told that we would have to move all of our belongings within the next two days. There was no official email telling us this until after we went to housing,” Amaddio said. 

Amaddio said that the housing options given to them were not ideal, so she and her roommates looked for any off-campus options. While there was initial confusion on how the students should proceed, she said facilities was very accommodating and helped them situate into their new living space once they found their own housing.

Once the students moved into their new residence, Amaddio said she and her roommates had all become sick. She said she isn’t sure whether the mold contributed to their illness. 

“We are not sure how long the repairs will take, but the initial estimate was four weeks. We will likely move back sometime in the middle of October if the construction goes to plan,” Amaddio said.

The Bucknellian has been following this story since Vedder residents were first notified of the mold. 

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