A Fist Full of Dollars
Each month the Residence Directors and central office staff track the maintenance, repair and vandalism charges that have occurred in each of the halls over the preceding 30 days. Residents are then notified of the amount of billable damage that has taken place in their residential area and its associated cost for each individual resident.
At the end of each semester, itemized damage bills are sent to all students moving out of the residence halls. These bills contain information concerning students' personal room damage charges as well as their share of the costs for the common area damage that has taken place in their hall.
As you might imagine, these bills often generate a lot of questions for parents and families who receive them.
In an effort to help students and families understand more about the damage billing process, we ask that you note the following:
Living in a residence hall provides students with the wonderful opportunity to live in a community of their peers. It is a place where they can share their knowledge and expertise, be it regarding their academic or more social pursuits. Central to the community experience is the important responsibility for students to take ownership for the facility and the community where they live. We find that students who take an active role in maintaining their living environment report a greater sense of satisfaction with their on-campus living experience.
Our live-in Resident Assistant and professional staff work very hard to educate and support students regarding their responsibilities for the facilities. This includes having staff regularly addressing behaviors which detract from the community in an effort to foster ownership of the physical and social environment.
The Office of Residential Life & Housing Services seeks to provide and maintain a safe, secure, attractive physical environment that allows students to sleep, study and socialize in a community characterized by mutual respect. Consistent with this goal, we believe that damages which occur within a residence hall have a detrimental impact on the community because they adversely affect the psychological attitudes of the individuals who enter, and live in, the building. As a result, we have a long-standing expectation that the residents living in the halls exercise their responsibility to address negative actions/behaviors which occur in the residence hall. For example, residents are responsible for the following:
After the closing of the residence halls in December, and again in May, your student will receive an itemized summary of personal, floor and hall damage charges which have been assessed to his/her student account. In many cases, charges are minimal because the communities have been successful in establishing an environment characterized by respect for each other and the facility.
In fact, on college campuses across the nation, damages are reduced considerably when such a community environment exists. However, there may be times when in spite of the efforts of our staff, residents will choose to not address unacceptable behaviors in their community. As a result, those floor and hall damages which cannot be attributed to an individual are assessed at the end of each semester and charged to all members of the residence hall as common area damages.
Please encourage your student to take an active part in the residence hall, and emphasize the importance of holding peers accountable for creating and maintaining the proper community environment. Your student will take pride in his/her living space and save money in the long run!