This summer, a bill from Residential Life surprised former residents of the Residential Quad and Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls for unexplained damages incurred in their buildings last year.

The charges were for unexplained vandalism throughout the year. Broken tables, missing furniture and bathroom damages were among the items charged to students at the end of the year.

“If damage is to the community area and no one is identified as being responsible, the damage costs are divided among the residents of that particular geographic area,” Director of Residential Life Logan Hazen said.

Damages on the Quad were higher than in other areas and were also higher than in past years, according to Associate Director of Residential Life Dan Watts. “It wasn’t a new thing this year,” he said, “but damages are up from previous years.”

Gilbert Hall received the most damage with a total dollar amount of $3,562. Each former Gilbert resident was charged $11.42, although the amount varied greatly per floor. Crosby Hall had a total of $834 in damage, which broke down to $6.96 per person. Hoeing had a total of $441, $2.45 per person, Lovejoy was $315, $1.78 per person and Tiernan was $910, which amounted to $5.08 per person. The only building on the Quad that did not incur community damage charges was Burton Hall.

All residents of each respective building were charged the same amount for “community damage” ? damage that could not be attributed to any specific person or room.

The quad area coordinator Eleanor Oi explained the philosophy behind charging the students this way ? “Community damage billing [is used] to help recoup some of the facilities costs to repair items that are deemed to be damaged due to vandalism, not general wear and tear.”

There were no community damage charges for Towers or Hill Court dorms. These dorms are apartment-style, with less common space than the Quad or Sue B. Community damage charges for Sue B. were not available.

Reactions from students were mixed. “It made me furious that I had to pay twenty dollars so someone else could act like a four year old and trash the dorm,” sophomore Marie Hunter, who lived in Gilbert Hall said

Others were indifferent. “When I got the bill for damages, I was slightly surprised, but it was only eighteen dollars, which didn’t seem like that much to me,” sophomore Alex Chekholko, said.

Although the damage to the Quad buildings has already been done, there are steps students can take to avoid community damage billing. “Students should be aware of what is happening on their floor ? it is similar to a neighborhood watch program, where students should acknowledge responsibility for their community,” Oi said.

If the responsible individual for the damages can be identified, they are billed directly. Damage billing only occurs when the responsible persons are not turned in or don’t admit guilt.””I don’t think I’ll hesitate to turn in the morons who do that kind of thing anymore,” sophomore Joe Rodriguez said.

Additional reporting by Karen Taylor.

Fales can be reached at sfales@campustimes.org.



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