Ramsey Apologizes to Students Affected by Hanson Mold

Dean Julie Ramsey, Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students (Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College)

Dean Julie Ramsey, Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students (Photo courtesy of Gettysburg College)

By Benjamin Pontz, Managing News Editor

One day after a heated airing of grievances relating to the ongoing mold situation at Hanson Hall at the Gettysburg College Student Senate meeting where students castigated the college — and Associate Dean of College Life for Residential and First-Year Programs Keira Kant, who came to the meeting to field questions and hear student concerns — for not apologizing to Hanson residents, Vice President of College Life Julie Ramsey issued a statement of apology to those residents.

In an email sent to The Gettysburgian Tuesday afternoon, Ramsey stated, “On behalf of the College, I want to apologize to residents, parents, and others affected by mold in Hanson Hall. This has been a very disruptive period for Hanson residents, and the College recognizes the negative impact it has had on students.”

The lack of an apology from Kant Monday evening sparked a torrent of criticism from senators and meeting attendees alike including from Student Senate President Luke Frigon, who called it “flabbergasting” that Kant “didn’t say sorry.”

Senator Abigail Hauer ’21, a former basement resident, appreciated Ramsey’s apology and expressed hope that students will be more comfortable reporting maintenance issues in the future.

“I am very glad that Dean Ramsey apologized to the current (and now former) residents of Hanson Hall.  I am also encouraged that the college is working to update their mold policy to be more proactive so no future Gettysburg student will have to go through the inconvenience and disruption that Hanson residents had to go through at the beginning of this semester,” Hauer said. “I hope that Residence Life will continue to work with the Hanson Hall students to remedy the ongoing situation, specifically regarding priority housing and the $250 voucher.  I also hope that the Senate meeting from last night will allow students to feel more comfortable coming forward about facilities issues so the college can address them.”

Senator Marisa Balanda ’21, also a former basement resident, said Tuesday afternoon , “While the whole situation has been extremely frustrating, I don’t think the college owes us any apology; however, I think that we should have been provided with consistent information and the original compensation that was agreed upon.”

Ramsey’s full statement appears below:

On behalf of the College, I want to apologize to residents, parents, and others affected by mold in Hanson Hall. This has been a very disruptive period for Hanson residents, and the College recognizes the negative impact it has had on students.

At the Senate meeting last night, a number of concerns were presented to us that we are working together with different offices across campus, including Residence Life, Health Center, Facilities, and outside contractors to address:

  • First, we have asked for specific guidance from our external consultants to systematically review and address potential mold issues in residential facilities.
  • The College will add an additional room-by-room visual inspection for mold as part of the summer room check process in order to proactively identify any issues.
  • Facilities is committed to giving high priority to reported complaints of mold from residents.
  • The Health Center has been involved in addressing student concerns from the beginning of this process. Health Services has waived the fee for all Hanson residents; students should continue to consult the Health Center for any medical concerns.
  • I would ask that any students who have ongoing academic issues related to the Hanson situation contact me directly and I will work with Academic Advising on a case-by-case basis.
  • We are reviewing our process for reporting mold concerns to the College. In the interim, if you would like to report a concern, please submit a work order to Facilities at ext.6700 or via the form. If you have other questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Residential & First-Year Programs at 717-337-6901 or residencelife@gettysburg.edu

We know many issues were raised at the Senate meeting last night and we will continue to address those issues with students while prioritizing our students’ health and safety.

This article will be updated.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated at 4:22 p.m. Tuesday with a comment from Marisa Balanda ’21 and at 4:28 p.m. with a comment from Abigail Hauer. (-B. Pontz)

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Author: Benjamin Pontz

Benjamin Pontz '20 served as Editor-in-Chief of The Gettysburgian from 2018 until 2020, Managing News Editor from 2017 until 2018, News Editor in the spring of 2017, and Staff Writer during the fall of 2016. During his tenure, he wrote 232 articles. He led teams that won two first place Keystone Press Awards for ongoing news coverage (once of Bob Garthwait's resignation, and the other of Robert Spencer's visit to campus) and was part of the team that wrote a first-place trio of editorials in 2018. He also received recognition for a music review he wrote in 2019. A political science and public policy major with a music minor, he graduated in May of 2020 and will pursue a master's degree in public policy on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Manchester before enrolling in law school.

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