- Each year, there are dozens of cases of mold found in K-12 classrooms and on college campuses, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- The repairs can be extensive for schools, costing anywhere between a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Mold is usually found outdoors and in buildings, but classrooms and dormitories are particularly vulnerable because piping is rarely repaired and cleaned, and many such facilities often have older air conditioners which can be shut down for weeks or months when students are not present.
School administrators may not feel a strong inclination to immediately deal with mold-related issues on college campuses, as they may not lead to immediately detectable health problems for students, but administrators should be concerned about the damage mold issues could have on the school’s reputation with potential applicants. Social media could make the prevalence of mold issues viral instantaneously, and many students report that they utilize social media when making a decision on which college to attend. If one of the notable discoveries is that a campus has mold, it may dissuade potential students from applying to that institution.
In recent interviews, college presidents noted that social media and viral videos could often lead to the general public learning about a crisis or controversy on campus. While the incidents presidents were referring to were often more serious than mold issues, it is the case that an issue with building maintenance could entirely bypass a college’s administration before people outside campus (including potential applicants) learned about the situation. It is better for administrations to quickly handle such situations, even if the concerns are deemed relatively minor. It is a small cost to avoid potential public relations problems.