Freshmen suspect mold in Holly Pointe Commons is making them sick

A Holly Pointe resident, Molly Cate, shows mold lining the air vent in her dorm. - Photo / Ryan Costello

Throughout the fall semester, several freshmen living in Rowan University’s Holly Pointe dormitory have made complaints regarding mold found throughout their rooms.

Rumors have come from various students living on campus but the claims of mold have spread quickly through word of mouth and posts online from students and parents. 

Dylan Hampton is a freshman who lives in Holly Pointe and has heard the “rumors” of mold.

“Yeah I heard the rumors but my CA said that there is no mold and that Holly Pointe as a building is safe and clean so whether or not the rumors are true I can’t really say for myself,” said Dylan Hampton, a freshman who lived in Holly Pointe. “I’ve never seen pictures or videos, all I heard were the rumors and at this point, I am forced to believe what my CA says.”

Roommates Allison Haber and Alana Cormier both live in Holly Pointe and have reported having symptoms from mold. They noted that their symptoms began when they got to Rowan.

“I thought it was dust maybe, but I had to get an air purifier because my throat always hurt. I was coughing and when I would go to the doctor they were like ‘nothing’s wrong, so it has to be mold,’” Haber said. 

Another Holly Pointe resident, Chad Caputo, noted that he and his friends at Holly Pointe were also getting sick from mold. They tried to voice their concerns but action has not yet been taken.

“We told our RA, she said she’s gonna call someone to fix it, but I don’t think that they came,” Caputo said.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the side effects of mold include a stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, or skin rash. For individuals with asthma or who are allergic to mold, the side effects can be severe. 

In April 2021, Amya Car, a South Carolina State University in Orangeburg senior died following an asthma attack in her dorm on campus. Being 21 years old and co-captain of the university’s dance trope, Car remained active while noting that her asthma was getting worse — especially n her dorm. Over the past two years, 32 different mold complaints were lodged against the dorm complex Car resided in.

There are a plethora of ways mold can enter living spaces. “Mold can get in your home through open doors, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can be brought indoors on clothing, shoes, bags, and even pets,” according to the CDC.

If exposed to mold, it is recommended to take action immediately.

The CDC lists eight tips for cleaning mold including to wear protective equipment, toss out any physical materials that cannot be completely dried within 24-48 hours, open all doors and windows to vent out affected area, use fans and dehumidifiers to remove moisture, avoid mixing cleaning products that may create “toxic vapors,” use water and detergent to clean, remove mold instead of covering it, and dry affected area after cleaning. 

As of this time, Rowan University has not made any official statement regarding the reports of mold within the Holly Pointe dormitories while claims of the fungi continue to spread.

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