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My Mold Problems: Lasell, Do Better

It was the day before move-in, and I was so excited to be able to return to school after winter break. It was nice being home for a little while, but I was starting to go stir crazy being in the same house as my family for so long and I was ready to return to campus and be able to see my friends, have my own space, and take those few days to prepare for a successful semester.

That’s when I got the email.

Before break, Lasell had notified us that they had tested for mold, but in order for us to feel safer, they were doing some additional cleaning in my suite along with a few others. We were told to bring home any “porous materials”, although I was never given clarification to exactly what that meant even after requesting it, so I ended up packing up all of my clothes as well as all of my pillows and bedding before heading home for winter break. We were told that this simple step could help prevent the return of mold after the cleaning and disinfecting was done. This cleaning was posed as the University doing something “extra” for us, and that they were going above and beyond what was recommended. 

At 9:00 a.m. the morning, before I was supposed to move in, my suitemates and I received another email that stated that after they had cleaned our suite they had done one more air quality test, and it came back showing that we had additional mold hidden in our suite. Remediation work had to be done, and we could not move back into our room. The email sent out held very little information and left me and my suitemates feeling upset and confused. There was a Zoom meeting hosted later in the day to discuss the situation. Before joining, I assumed that this was a meeting between the appropriate admins and my suitemates, and I. However, when I joined the meeting, I was extremely surprised to see so many people at this meeting, and this was only one of three meeting times. 

The meeting was extremely frustrating to say the least. Oftentimes, when students would ask hard-hitting questions, such as if we were going to receive any partial refunds, the admin would just refuse to unmute and answer. Similar questions that were being posed in the chat also went unanswered. Many basic questions, such as, “Where are we going to live?” were not given an answer at this time and we were just told that they were still figuring it all out. Many people who were living in winter housing and were not able to return to their original dorm were asking if they were going to be thrown in with random roommates, and many had covid concerns, as we only needed a negative rapid test to return to class. These questions were also given a glorified “IDK”. At one point, I asked why the whole building wasn’t tested for mold when there were a few confirmed cases before we even left for break as a preliminary measure. What I was then told was that they did find low-level cases of mold in the building halfway through fall semester, but they didn’t see it as a big enough issue to look into until over winter break when everyone was moved out. When I objected to how unfair this was to us, I was met with a very sarcastic, “Well, you know there’s technically mold everywhere you go right?”. This response was beyond frustrating and really made me disappointed in Lasell.

Come move-in day, my suitemates and I moved into a double in Holt Hall. This is significantly less space then our suite, which is the space we pay extra for. We ended up staying in this room for about a week and a half, and were fortunately able to move back into our room after that. While I am grateful to be able to be back in my space and back with my stuff, the whole situation was poorly taken care of and sounds as though it could have been either avoided or made less severe. In conclusion: Lasell, do better next time.

Kyra is a junior at Lasell University and is an elementary education major. She loves to hike, bake, and work with her students at daycare.
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