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Many questions you may have can be answered by the information provided below. Please contact us at [[living]] with additional questions you may have.

A dropdown containing common questions about billing.
What is a Common Area Charge?

In the case of the common area charges, they are assessed by the area Community Councils, not Residence Life. As part of our policy of Self-Determination in the residence halls and as outlined in the Housing Agreement, Community Councils are given the authority to assess responsibility for common area charges. These charges can include vandalism and/or extra cleaning charges (ex: broken lounge chair, remnants of a shaving cream fight, garbage bags left in the hallway). The Community Council can either assign responsibility to an individual, hall or building or they can designate the charge as unassigned if, in their opinion, there is no way to assign responsibility and the residents of the building should not be held accountable.

How is this money collected?

Community Councils are responsible for collecting the monies and forwarding payment for the common area charges to Residence Life. Thus this charge should not be a surprise to residents, as there was an opportunity to pay the charge prior to leaving. The Community Councils also includes a list of those residents who did not pay their portion to the Council representatives. At that point, Residence Life then bills those residents.

Why does Residence Life bill residents?

For two reasons:
1) Billing those who do not pay underscores the importance of the policy of Self Determination and supports the Hall/Apartments Councils efforts to curb damages in the halls. Peer enforcement has been found to be the most effective way to cut down on damage costs. If these outstanding charges (no matter how small) were not collected there would be no motivation for residents to take responsibility for their halls and share in the costs for damages. In addition to the educational benefit of giving residents an opportunity to address their own concerns as a community, common area damages remain at a manageable level because of the Hall/Apartments Council's ability to recover the majority of those costs. Un recovered costs would then be passed onto residents in either increased rent or diminished services.

2) There is the simple issue of fairness. Usually about 80% of residents who owe Hall/Apartments Council charges will pay their Hall/Apartments Council Representatives. It would not be fair to those residents to allow the other 20% to avoid payment.

Why is there an additional charge?

The administrative service charge of $15.00 is only added to billed Hall/Apartments Council charges to cover the additional overhead required to list and collect these charges by our office.