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Mold forces students out of room

Ghosts weren’t the only thing floating in the Caples Residence Hall air around this Halloween.

Jackie Dicks ’19 and Emily Ward ’19, moved out of their seventh-floor Caples room and into Mather Residence Hall because of what Dicks called “bad black mold.” Assistant Director of Housing and Residential life Lisa Train, said Dicks’ and Ward’s room was the only one affected by the mold, although surrounding areas and random Caples rooms were checked.

“From what I understand, the air test originally came back as normal,” Train said. “However, there was a spot on the wall by the window that tested positive.” Since the mold was removed, recent tests have not detected mold.

Indoor mold can cause upper respiratory tract symptoms and coughing, according to the Institute of Medicine. The Center for Disease Control has said immune-compromised individuals and those with chronic lung disease — as well as those with asthma or mold allergies — may develop other symptoms.

Dicks’ and Ward’s Caples room was one of multiple recent cases in which the College addressed a low-risk mold situation, according to Steven Arnett, director of facility operations. A low-risk case involves fewer than 10 square feet of confirmed mold, Arnett said. Custodians are responsible for handling low-risk cases; medium- or high-risk cases, which involve over 10 square feet of affected area, are handled by independent contractors. (Train said hiring an outside contractor is standard for mold situations.)

On Oct. 28, a company van from Rapid Mold Removal was seen near Caples and Mather. The Collegian attempted to contact the company multiple times to set up an interview and did not receive a response.