Western should come clean, tell truth about mold

We all love Western. We all think our administrators are pretty smart cookies. After all, they’re our leaders. And they’d never do anything dishonest.

We’ll go ahead and assume they wouldn’t leap frog Western faculty from room-to-room and building-to-building across campus to avoid dealing with the mold issue.

Because, after all, what do they have to hide?

On Sept. 18 the Herald filed a public records request asking the university for information relating to mold found in campus buildings.

Among our questions, we asked whether any faculty had been moved from offices in mold-infested buildings or if any other accommodations had been made for people who may have been affected by mold.

Western’s response: “The University has no documents which would reflect either a request to be moved or action taken to move any complaintants to other buildings, and we are not aware that any employees, in fact, have been moved for this reason.”

That might be believable, except for one thing. Psychology professor Adrain Thomas said he was moved from his office in Tate Page Hall to a room in the Academic Complex for health reasons. His doctor blamed his severe allergic reactions on the mold in the building.

So here’s the point. The mold issue has been sketchy from the beginning. And now it has become a “he said, she said” situation between the university and the people affected by mold.

We’re not saying the university lied about moving faculty out of buildings or completely ignored health concerns. Our request asked for documentation, which, frankly, may not exist.

But there is obviously a problem when people claim their health is at risk.

We want to believe that the university wouldn’t blow off complaints or the seriousness of this issue.

We want to believe that our administrators will be open and honest with us.

If there’s a mold problem on campus, Western has the responsibility to tell people about the dangers of what could happen.

Our leaders should also be aware of what’s going on with mold, as well.

If people are being moved, with or without documentation, administrators should know.

For whatever reason, the stories aren’t matching up.

It’s time to open up about whatever is or isn’t going on. Faculty and students deserve the truth. Especially if their health is at risk.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member board of student editors.