Mold causes temporary shutdown of radio station

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The cleanup process for WCWM started Sept. 5 and radio station members expect to return to the station Sept. 24. SARAH SMITH / THE FLAT HAT

In mid-July, the College of William and Mary’s WCWM radio station experienced mold issues that led to a cleanup process that is expected to continue throughout the month of September.

WCWM Co-manager Varvara Troitski ’20 was the first one to uncover the mold within the station. According to Troitski, Campus Center experienced minor flooding in late June to early July, though College officials have said that no actual flooding occurred within the WCWM office.

“There was no flooding — as in standing water — in the WCWM space in the Campus Center,” College spokesperson Suzanne Clavet said in an email. “What has occurred in the WCWM space is some moisture, mold and mildew as the result of high humidity levels over the summer and malfunctioning HVAC equipment. Fortunately, there does not appear to be any damage to the station’s electrical equipment. HVAC systems repairs have been made and clean-up of the WCWM space is underway.”

The cleanup of the mold began Sept. 5 and has since affected WCWM operations, causing the office to be unusable.

“The spaces that were hit hardest were the practice room and the front of the main lobby where we usually hold our weekly meetings,” Troitski said in an email. “I contacted facilities immediately and closed the station/stopped programming until further notice.”

When Troitski discovered the mold, she said she found no standing water. Until the cleanup is finished tentatively Sept. 24, WCWM members have been meeting in an alternative location and will do so until they are able to return.

“Though we have stopped our regular programming, we are by no means on a hiatus as an organization,” Troitski said in an email. “In the meantime, we are working on curating Vinyl Tap (our music and culture magazine), organizing various social events (like mixers and club bonding), training new DJs, and planning for our upcoming WCWM Fest, which will be happening in less than a month on October 6th!”

While WCWM was affected by the mold, other offices and rooms in the Campus Center basement were found to be free of any issues.

“Other rooms in the basement have been checked and deemed unaffected by the issue,” Associate Director of Student Leadership Development Trici Fredrick M.Ed ’05 said in an email.

WCWM Training Director Faith Burke ’21 said that the atmosphere of the radio, with its posters, vinyl and couches, is an important factor in recruiting new members and hopes that the current cleanup doesn’t affect recruitment, although new member training has been affected as staff do not currently have access to the necessary equipment.

“I think it’s an important part of the radio atmosphere, because I remember being a freshman, like first coming into the station and you really get a feel for the history and the cool vibes of radio and that’s what made me want to join so I really hope this doesn’t deter freshmen,” Burke said.