BY JACOB TROXELL
Students on campus at Salisbury University have reported mold in their dorm rooms, and have been attempting to solve the problem since they moved in.
Several students in Chesapeake Hall have said they have had mold issues in their closets, rooms, showers and air conditioning units and have tried to fix the problem themselves. Different issues have arisen, including the mold coming and going throughout the year, according to some residents of Chesapeake Hall.
Chesapeake hall is an apartment style residence hall that houses 178 students each year, and was built in 1977.
“On move-in day my RA told me there was mold in my room,” sophomore Will Drozdoski said. “I have had bad allergies all year, I don’t know if it’s from the mold, but I’ve had a headache off and on for a month.”
Multiple apartments have reported some of the same problems, such as mold growing underneath the shower and having mold in each closet adjacent to the shower. There were no reported mold issues near food or the resident’s kitchens.
“We had mold in the air conditioning unit spewing everywhere,” said sophomore Alec Barber, one of Drozdoski’s roommates.
According to Barber, Drozdoski and their roommates, they told their resident director about the mold in their shower, closet and AC unit, put in a work order and they received no immediate response to help or clean the mold. They said later on maintenance caulked the bottom of their shower, but the mold still grows beneath it, and painted over the mold that was still remaining.
Their roommates also claimed that they were told maintenance would come to paint over the mold, but nobody ever came to do it and it slowly went away, however some of the smell still persisted.
Other apartments have reported similar problems with receiving help to clean the mold.
Sophomore Taylor Langley said that her and her roommates moved in early and had a mold problem begining early in the semester as well.
“The mold was disgusting at first,” Langley said. “It’s just really damp in here; after I take a shower my towels do not dry.”
Langley’s roommate Julian Busillo said maintenance came and cleaned black mold out of the bathroom vent in their apartment earlier in the year, and they went out and bought their own dehumidifiers.
Chesapeake resident Manny Flores also said that his roommates bought dehumidifiers, and one of his roommates in his apartment had mold on his ceiling above their air conditioning vent.
Another resident of Chesapeake Hall who wanted to remain anonymous to avoid being negative toward SU, said mold exists throughout their apartment as well.
The resident said maintenance told them the type of mold in their apartment is not harmful, and they heard about mold issues in Chesapeake before.
“I know someone who lived in Chesapeake five or six years ago and they had the same problems (with mold) we have,” the resident said. “It’s a recurring problem; they are not really fixing the problem, just covering it up.”
The resident also said maintenance caulked the bottom of their shower, similar to reports from other residents.
Director of Campus Sustainability and Environmental Safety Wayne Shelton said the university has been working with residents and that the mold issues reported are mainly just a summertime issue. Shelton also explained why some residents reported headaches.
“The thing is mold is ubiquitous, what really makes a difference is moisture,” Shelton said. “When the relative humidity is above 60% that is when those folks have an issue with it.”
Shelton emphasized that people see the same thing with pollen during transition periods in-between seasons and they rarely get calls from residents reporting mold during the winter months. He also said the mold has been investigated by a third party, and they found that air samples this year show a lower concentration of mold in Chesapeake Hall compared to the concentration of mold in the air outside.
“One side effect can be a headache (from the mold), but it could have been a lot of other things,” Shelton said. “It’s all about the moisture, the common element is moisture and managing it, it’s hard to do.”
Shelton also said Chesapeake Hall’s irrigation system is partially at fault for the issue, and until they move the sprinklers, the system will remain shut off. The sprinklers were spraying on to the walls of first floor apartments, and this is believed to create a more humid environment in first floor apartments, which is where most of the complaints of mold came from. The sprinklers will be moved from the sidewalk so they will spray away from the building.
“It’s part of their responsibility (as well), we rely on students to call us, we take calls seriously,” Shelton said. “The bottom line is to have a safe and healthy work place, (and they can) if they use the air conditioning unit properly.”