Student Senate addresses mold concerns

Stephanie Miller December 7, 2017 0

According to Student Senate, there has been an increased amount of mold in different upperclassman residences at Elizabethtown College. The mold is mostly located in the Vera Hackman Apartments, with a few other reports coming from residents of the Schreiber Quadrangle and different Student-Directed Learning Communities (SDLCs).

Senators from the Class of 2018 sent an email to all College upperclassmen regarding the mold last week. The email asked students who had mold in their residences to reply with their name, where they live, where the mold is located and any pictures they could take of it.

The senators then compiled the provided information and sent it to different College administrators. According to the original email, the senators planned to send the information to Director of Residence Life Allison Bridgeman and Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Marianne Calenda.

“We do not believe that any student should have to live in housing conditions where mold is present,” senior class vice president Jeff Gamble said.

According to Gamble, the Class of 2018 had previously sent out a survey asking seniors to list concerns they had about the College, and there was a noticeable amount of responses regarding mold. Gamble then brought the issue up at Student Senate’s meeting Thursday, Nov. 30.

Senior Amber Mangabat lives in the Hackman Apartments. She moved in a week before the current semester started and noticed mold right away.

“It was not the cleanest of apartments,” she said.

According to Mangabat, someone from Facilities Management visited her apartment at the beginning of the year, observed the mold and took no further action.

“We were just living with mold in the apartment,” she said. “One of my roommates said she’d been cleaning it. We have a chore chart, so she’d probably been cleaning it every three weeks, and she said it would come back every time she cleaned it. So it was definitely still there.” The email from Senate inspired her to put in a work order to Facilities.

Senior Nina Cicero, a Resident Assistant (RA) in the quads, has not received any reports of mold from her residents, but encourages students to place a work order with Facilities first if there are any problems.

“It is great that our Student Senate is advocating for students’ well-being in the residence halls,” Cicero said. “However, it would be more effective to pass these concerns directly to the appropriate department so that they can be addressed.”

Senior Holly Savini, an RA from the apartments, agrees with Cicero and hopes this situation will make students more aware of resources they have to deal with problems in their residences.

Facilities Management and its director Mark Zimmerman received the email from the Class of 2018 Monday morning, a few days after students received it. As of Monday morning, Facilities was investigating the issue.

“I would imagine it’s much harder to fix issues in the independent living facilities, but I do very much hope some of it gets done quickly,” Mangabat said.

She wondered if removing this much mold would be too invasive a job for Facilities to do while students are living on campus, but said she knows mold is a tough issue and is “giving [Facilities] the benefit of the doubt.”

“I’m still glad Senate was able to reach out independently,” Mangabat said. “It made me feel like this wasn’t something I just had to live with.”

 

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