Students in Deroy Hall believe there is mold growing in the building. None of the students interviewed had personally seen any mold, but several of them had heard rumors of its existence, according to four first-year students who live in Deroy. Those four students told The Brandeis Hoot that they knew of students living on the ground floor and basement getting sick and that those students attributed their sickness to the alleged mold. One student, who declined to be named, told The Hoot that they had heard tell of pending legal action by a parent of one of the residents of Deroy.
At the Senate meeting on Nov. 24, Senator Scott Halper ‘20 said that he had spoken with area coordinators about the concerns. According to Halper, after receiving numerous reports from students, the area coordinators checked the rooms of students that had reported mold and did not find any signs of this. He said that the humidity level in Deroy was found to be below “50,” which he said was a “benchmark” of a safe humidity levels. Halper may have been referring to a relative humidity of less than 50 percent, which the Environmental Protection Agency recommends keeping between 30 percent and 50 percent to avoid mold. Halper also talked about personally visiting Deroy, where he said that he saw “stuff” on the walls which he said could have been mold, but he cautioned that he does not feel qualified to identify mold. He said that an ozone machine was used in Deroy following the complaints. Ozone machines are used to kill mold, but Halper said he was not sure whether the machine was used because the university believed mold was present or for the purpose of reassuring students. Halper did not respond to The Hoot’s request for a comment.
Senator Sagar Punjabi ‘21 also spoke at the meeting, saying that Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Tim Touchette said that there was no indication of any mold. Furthermore, according to Touchette, even if there were mold, the ozone machine would have killed it by now.
The Hoot reached out to the Department of Community Living, but they did not immediately comment on the matter.