Bridgewater State University

‘Makes Your Breathing Really Hard': Bridgewater State Students Report Mold Issues

Mold was discovered in the Maxwell Library at Bridgewater State University, and while school officials say the problem has been resolved, some students and staff disagree

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As students at Bridgewater State University get ready for finals in the days ahead, some are sounding the alarm about mold they say is on campus.

It was first discovered in the library a few months ago, and while school officials say it has been resolved, some students and staff disagree.

Some of the mold was discovered on books at the Maxwell Library in early October. Videos were posted on social media and pictures were shown in some classes. Roughly 50 books had to be thrown away as a result, and thousands of others were inspected.

While it has since been cleaned up, some students say it is still hard to breathe.

"It just makes your breathing really hard, almost like you're getting something stuck in your throat," said Alexis Ostman, a junior who has asthma.

"Sometimes, I will go two minutes straight coughing," said Tyler Goddard, another student.

The university did mold testing and air sampling as a result of the situation. While some mold was found, they say there were never any unsafe levels of mold in the building. They did take steps to resolve the issue including bringing in industrial humidifiers.

"How do you get rid of it? Either you remove it or you clean it so we took those steps," said Mark Carmody, the assistant vice president of operations for Bridgewater State University.

Carmody also said pandemic precautions, like opening windows to let more fresh air in, is creating a moldy problem in a lot of places, not just at the school.

"The precautions, combined with a hot, humid summer, created conditions where mold could grow," Carmody said.

While officials say they are doing everything they can to make sure the campus is safe, a number of students and staff spoke at a virtual meeting Monday about how they are still being sickened by it. They also think it is a problem in a lot more buildings than the library.

"In my classrooms, you can look up, and it's literally streaks of what I assume to be mold," sophomore Megan Keller said.

"People are complaining the residence halls have mold now, and they've done absolutely nothing about it," Ostman said.

University officials say they are responding to concerns and will continue to have a dialogue about the mold. They stress all campus buildings are safe.

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