Working Together to Reduce Costs
Property damage and loss in the residence halls are of real concern to residents and to Residence Life. Costs of damages and losses affect the room rents for every student living on campus. Damages and losses often compromise the safety, security and comfort of the building as well. In order to live on campus, students sign a contract agreeing to pay a portion of the cost to repair or replace College property that is damaged or stolen if the person responsible is not identified. We have worked hard to produce a damage policy that reduces these costs to students. The policy is described below, along with suggestions for some things each student can do to help hold damage costs down.
How the Damage Policy Works
- A resident or staff member reports common area property damage or loss to the Area Director (AD).
- The AD, in consultation with the facilities maintenance staff, determines the cost for repair or replacement.
- The person(s) responsible for the damage, if known, receives a bill for the damage. (Some situations also result in College student conduct referral.)
- If the person(s) responsible is not known, your elected Hall Council members will investigate the situation.
- If the person(s) responsible is still unknown, your Hall Council decides which floor, unit or building will cover this bill, then collects the money from the residents of that floor, unit or building.
- Any unrecovered damage or loss charges that are unresolved at the end of the semester are collected by Hall Council representatives.
- Appeals for charges are directed back to the Hall Council during the academic year. During the summer, appeals are heard by the appropriate AD.
- Costs for common area damages occurring after the final Hall Council meeting of the semester are assigned by the AD and billed directly over the summer by Residence Life.
Does This Policy Work?
Over time, we have seen damages decrease because of this policy. Here are several reasons why we believe it works:
- Damage and loss in the residence halls have been significantly reduced.
- Many residents have become more active in reducing damage and loss.
- Several buildings on campus have been able to identify the person(s) responsible for all damage and loss so no charges had to be recovered from residents of the hall or from the unassigned damage account.
- More money is available for hall improvements and programs.
What Can I Do to Reduce Damage?
- Keep a watchful eye and ear. If you see someone walking away with an end table or destroying a chair in your lounge, confront them. Contact a staff member or Campus Police if necessary.
- Don't allow just anyone access to your building. Ask people who they are here to see, and make sure that is where they go. Question strangers roaming the halls. Report suspicious activity.
- Don't prop doors. Unprop them as you find them propped. Some damage is caused by nonresidents.
- If you witness damage on your floor, encourage the person(s) responsible to report that to an RA, or do so yourself if they won't. Peer pressure can help reduce damages, because if the responsible person(s) is not made to pay, you will be.
- Turn in work order requests for items that look unsteady.
- Don't remove screens from windows.
With the assistance of the Residence Life staff, Hall Council, RHA and other residents, you can work to reduce costs for property damage and loss.
You can get involved in Hall Council or attend meetings if you are not a member. With the other residents in your building, you can send a clear message that it is not okay to steal or damage common area property.