By Martha Berkheimer News Editor
Since the beginning of the academic year, several reports have been made by residents claiming to have found mold in their dorm rooms, specifically in Memorial Hall, and this year’s above average rainfall may be to blame. “Due to the increased rain, ground water levels are at an all-time high, which has caused flooding and foundations to leak. Additionally, high humidity levels have been a challenge, making it difficult to keep the building moisture at normal levels,” said Matt Troutman, Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct. Memorial Hall’s cooling system also creates an excess amount of condensation, leading to high moisture levels throughout the building. The combination of all of these elements has lead to the formation mold that has occurred in the building. But, Hood College is not the only school to experience issues with mold this academic year: University of Maryland has had to evacuate an entire dorm due to the health risks concerning an extremely high amount of mold build up in Elkton Hall. The students had begun experiencing a cough, sore throat, and other flu-like symptoms before being evacuated due to the mold. Since issue surfaced, tensions have been rising among Memorial residents. “Hood College really needs to improve their facilities and not risk their students’ health,” stated freshman Vivian Taylor. In response to the heightened anxiety, Troutman has explained that there are steps being taken to decrease and prevent mold formation in the dorms. These steps include an adjusted cooling system to combat the build up of condensation, treatment and deep cleaning of any areas suspected of mold, issuing dehumidifiers to help dry out the rooms, and bringing in outside contractors for more serious issues. Although the issue is frustration and potentially harmful for many, Hood is attempting to remedy the situation and keep its students happy and healthy.