Concern rises over possible mold found in Woodcrest Residence Hall

By Brielle Toff
September 20, 2018

Mold on a chair in Woodcrest Residence Hall - Photo taken by Michelle Guerin

Freshman students residing in Woodcrest Residence Hall discovered an outbreak of what appears to them to be a mold-like substance that has been spreading throughout a number of locations in the residence hall.

Initially five or six students had started complaining to Residence Life about the mold-like substance on Wednesday, Sept. 19, but when word started to get around, more and more people had started discovering what they thought was mold in their dorm rooms.

Residence Life is working to determine whether the condition is mold or mildew.

For an explanation of the differences, see this site by CertainTeed, the major producer of building products. Mold is a more serious building problem than mildew, which is more easily treated and eliminated.

Woodcrest students were finding this mold-like substance on furniture such as desks, closets and air conditioning vents. A few students found the mold-like substance on their personal belongings and were forced to throw them out. Other students had someone pick them up from the university or they spent the night in other residential buildings.

A student’s backpack covered in a mold like substance. Photo provided by Kelly Sweeney

Roommates Brenna Walters and Grace Fox spent the morning rearranging their furniture and cleaning out their dorm room after finding the mold-like substance in it.

“I was sick last week and I am not sure if that is the reason why,” Fox said. “I found that my shoes were covered in mold, I had to throw them out… It was disgusting.”

Walters was in the room when facilities came to remove the mold-like substance.

“He [facilities] moved the wardrobe and checked that there was no more mold,” Walters said. “After that, he bleached everything and wiped it all down, but there is more growing on the back of the closet.”

After the Woodcrest Residence Hall flooded in spring 2016, the building was completely renovated with new air conditioning units, floors and furniture. Since the renovation, each room in the residence hall was equipped with its own air conditioning unit.

A freshman who asked her name not to be used, living in Woodcrest Residence Hall, claims that she was originally told that the mold-like substance would be gone by 7 a.m, but when she arrived back at her dorm room this morning, there was still the mold-like substance there.

“I had to throw away some clothes and shoes, but my roommate had to throw away all of her bedding,” the freshman said.

Mold like substance attatched to a desk chair. Photo taken by Michelle Guerin

Brett Buckridge, the director of residence life , has been working hard to resolve the issues.

“We are not evacuating people. The concern of our students’ health and safety is at our upmost priority,” Buckridge said. “We do have reports of mildew and a rise of cases of mildew. Right now we have facilities going through and trying to determine the actual reports, whether it’s mold or not.”

The mold-like substance could have been a result of the recent weather patterns the Radnor area has been experiencing, or the lack of ventilation in the dorm rooms.

“From what we can determine, it is a low circulation and ventilation issue. Right now we’re working with students to move furniture to help increase ventilation,” Buckridge said. “So right now we’re working with housekeeping, facilities, and residence life coordinating and helping students move furniture away that is blocking anything.”

As they are getting a number of complaints from students and parents, solving the problem of the mold-like substance is Residence Life’s first priority.

Mold like substance on an ethernet port. Photo by Michelle Guerin

“I think we’re confident enough that we are going to be able to resolve this in a short time period. We are working with facilities to do air quality tests and things like that to ensure that it’s not a risk, ” Buckridge said.

Elaina Loveland, a junior early education and special education double major at Cabrini University, lived in Woodcrest Residence Hall during her freshman year on campus. Loveland loved living in Woodcrest Residence Hall and had a lot of fun there with all of her friends, but she felt as if she was making weekly visits to the nurses office due to frequent upper respitory infections.

“Now that I am informed of the mold, I believe that it was the cause of the constant illness I was faced with during my freshman year,” Loveland said. “I am honestly not surprised because Woodcrest has always had a musty smell to it.”

If any students on campus spot mildew or mold in their dorm rooms, houses or apartments they are advised to contact Residence Life as soon as it is spotted.

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Brielle Toff

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