University of Wisconsin residence hall staff disproved rumors spreading across campus that Sellery was experiencing a ‘black mold’ issue.
Students raised concerns about an alleged ‘black mold’ problem in Sellery residence hall as residents reported an issue with dirty air conditioning units.
According to University Housing spokesperson Brendon Dybdahl, these rumors are untrue. In an email statement to The Badger Herald, Dybdahl said they have not found widespread evidence of mold in the building.
“UW Environmental Health and Safety completed a visual inspection identifying minor growth isolated within some window AC units,” Dybdahl said. “If any mold or debris is found, we clean and treat the unit appropriately.”
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Sellery is currently undergoing construction and residents are expected to anticipate activity, noise, odors, dust and vibration, according to the university housing website. Nothing is listed about potential mold.
Dybdahl said the dirty air conditioning units posed no serious health or safety hazards to residents and referring to the dirty units as having black mold is deceiving.
“Please note that referring to ‘black mold’ can be very misleading,” Dybdahl said. “Per the CDC, mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be.”
According to Sellery resident Lizzy Bond, she first began to hear about mold in the residence hall when students moved in earlier this fall and found black spots in their air conditioning units.
“Students began to notice the air conditioning vents were dirty during move-in, but under inspection, it was just dirt to be cleaned out,” Bond said. “The black mold rumors began after that.”
Dybdahl said students have been advised to submit a maintenance request if unusual spots, dirt or debris are found in their air conditioning events.
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Bond said the Sellery staff have acted accordingly to residents’ concerns.
“[Sellery staff] have continually sent out messages saying the situation is being taken care of and monitored, but students are still really worried,” Bond said.
Dybdahl said Sellery staff are committed to addressing residents’ concerns and educating residents on how to prevent this issue in the future.
This story was updated at 11:15 a.m. to reflect a change in attribution to University Housing spokesperson Brendon Dybdahl from Sellery Residence Life Coordinator Naeelah Chism. Wording in the subhead and second paragraph was also updated to clarify there is no widespread evidence of mold in the dorm.