Every student becomes excited to depart from their parents’ arms and to finally call their dorm room home. Let’s not forget to remind ourselves about how much money parents and students have to fork over to live on university campuses. But what happens when you start getting sick from mold that you did not even know was there and the university shrugs it off?
As students reside in residence halls, it becomes a second home for them. Students invite their friends over, do homework and overall just live there while school is in session. With mold growing in certain dorms here at Montclair State University, the student on-campus living experience becomes a health risk.
When falling upon the University Facilities website, Montclair State University has an entire section dedicated to mold, which is somewhat concerning. The guidelines are provided by the State of New Jersey’s Department of Health, which also makes people worrisome. It makes one wonder if this is a common problem in colleges around the state.
For those who are not familiar with University Facilities, the newly built facility sits in Lot 60. This facility is grouped with a bunch of other services offered at Montclair State, which include the shuttle and postal services, maintenance and engineering along with many other departments. Regarding the mold situation, the sector of University Facilities that students would deal with is Environmental Health & Safety.
On the website, it lists what mold is, the description of the fungi and where and why mold can occur. As there are health risks listed too, Montclair State uses the excuse that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have any guidelines or limits for this type of issue and that they can not determine if the mold is necessary for testing. This also falls on the EPA for not protecting students from mold by not regulating any standards for colleges.
If a student were to find mold in their dorm, Montclair State recommends that they report any mold issues to Resident Assistants via email. If I were to find mold in my dorm room, I would not just wait for someone to email me back. I would pick up the phone and complain as every student should with the amount of money we are paying.
Once the student files a complaint, the next step is for an inspection, then cleaning the area and sanitation of the area.
When looking at the resources provided by Montclair State, there are a few links listed. One of them is provided by the EPA and the other is supposed to be a website about if there are regulations for universities, but the website does not match the link.
Once you click the second link, it automatically directs you toward the official Microsoft website. Since there are old resources online, that shows that the university has not updated their website in quite some time. This leads people to believe that the website is no longer updated with the correct information and may cause an issue for students and parents when following procedure.
As this is a process, imagine how much time the entire list of things to do will take by the Resident Assistants and the university. The amount of time the student has to reside in the dorm while the mold is still present is unsettling because this also affects your health in big ways, such as wheezing, difficulty breathing and maybe even hives.
Mold is also airborne, which means you might not even know that mold is in your living space. Imagine how much mold is not found in dorm rooms on campus because students are unaware of it. Are they suffering without even knowing mold may reside in their dorm rooms?
Montclair State students have even complained on social media regarding the mold:
@montclairstateu @MontclairTimes my girlfriend has been to countless doctor visits and hospital visits to only find out later her room is covered with mold and when reported the school did nothing to clean it. pic.twitter.com/r9pbbOSgrs
— Brandon Wood (@brandonwood_27) October 24, 2018
Other news stations have reported on Montclair State and even William Paterson University for having mold in dorm rooms. As this seems to be a problem with New Jersey universities, it makes one wonder when the EPA and other universities will push the change to make regulations for mold.
With the ongoing problem, it puts students who dorm at risk. Regulations need to change before it is too late.