First official mold report of the semester by Hogate Hall resident

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Mold in a Hogate room covers a large part of the wall by a window. BYRON MASON II

A test has been scheduled for today in a Hogate Hall dormitory after a resident sent Facilities Management a notice of suspected mold. Although there has been recent talk of mold by Hogate residents, this is the first official mold report of the school year.

 

Cayden Bonaccorsi, the first-year resident who filed the report, noticed dark spots forming on the wall next to her bed during Winter Term. She contacted Facilities Management with a priority emergency request. “They came in here [her dorm] after I first discovered it to wipe it off,” Bonaccorsi said. “They said it was ‘okay mold.’”

She has continued to wipe the residue off with Clorox wipes but says it keeps coming back. “My wall will be soaking wet and it’s gross considering its right by my head,” Bonaccorsi said.

MicroAir, DePauw’s testing contractor, is an “environmental consulting firm dedicated to offering solutions to damage done to buildings and their occupants by health threatening environmental conditions,” according to its website.

Ken Owen, DePauw University’s executive director of media relations, said in an email that tomorrow’s procedure will test the indoor air quality. He said it is the only student complaint the University has received this semester.

“Let me stress that job #1 for all of us here is to provide the best student experience possible and that our terrific facilities team takes complaints very seriously,” Owen said.

However, other Hogate residents earlier this week expressed their concerns of supposed mold-related issues, saying they have been sick more often than before since living in Hogate. First-year student Mackenzie Lamb put an air purifier in her dorm room after she moved in “because the air was so heavy” and says she has since been able to breathe better.

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors, according to the Centers for Disease Control website. They grow in warm and damp conditions. Some people are sensitive to molds and may develop symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, itchy eyes or more serious conditions.

The living conditions of Hogate Hall have yet to be directly linked to health issues.

First-year student Emily Graves wishes the living conditions in Hogate were the same as other first-year residence halls such as Humbert. “[Residence halls] are something a lot of kids are sold on when coming here,” Graves said. She added she would rather live off-campus for her first year than live in Hogate if given the choice.