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CIW residents express concern on mold in hallway

Over the course of the year there have been growths of mold in Oneida Hall in the College-in-the-Woods community.

“About a month and a half ago my roommate and I noticed [the mold], in the hallway above the water fountain,” said Kevin Hallagan, a sophomore majoring in cinema and a resident in the hall affected by the mold. The mold has yet to be removed even though Hallagan informed his resident assistant of the mold spots.

Instead of having the mold removed from the hall, Hallagan said painters were sent in to paint over the mold. The mold at that point looked “kind of like lichen on a rock,” according to Jesse Tranvaag, a senior majoring in sociology who also lives in Oneida. Two coats of paint were painted over the mold and it was left as it was. Even after two coats of paint worth of trying to hide the mold, the mold is beginning to appear once again in small brown patches above the water fountain.

Mold is not something that anyone would like to be living near. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to mold can cause nasal stuffiness, coughing or wheezing, or irritation of the throat, eyes or even skin for people sensitive to mold. People allergic to mold may have more severe reactions.

Beyond the health effects, to Hallagan it is downright unappealing.

“I just think it’s gross and ridiculous how the school is dealing with it,” he said.

Resident assistants and the residential director for Oneida declined to comment on the basis that they couldn’t make comments about their residence.

University officials said that they had not heard of any problems.

“Currently I am unaware of a mold issue in Oneida,” said Scott Schuhert, assistant director of operations for residential life. Schuhert went on to say that “if the residential director of Oneida was made aware of the problem they would have reported it.” Residential Life didn’t have any specifics on how to deal with mold problems, or whether there were other problems like this in College-in-the-Woods.

Students in Oneida Hall have had mixed feelings about the mold in their buildings. There are some, like Hallagan and Tranvaag, who are concerned with the mold and hope for it to be removed sometime soon, but others find the mold amusing and a humorous reflection on campus life.

“Some people think it’s more of a joke than anything,” Tranvaag said.

Despite this one incident in Oneida Hall, it is unclear whether the mold issue is specific to that site or whether it is also in other buildings in the community or on campus. No one else in Oneida has found other spots of mold in the building, and it remains to be seen whether this mold will be dealt with soon.

“The way the University has held this so far is poor,” Tranvaag said.

And while several students also expressed their displeasure with the mold there, they could not think of other mold incidents on campus.