Students living on campus sign an agreement with Residential Living upon move-in that includes policies on alcohol, visitors and damages. While many of such policies are clear and do not require much debate, the policy on community damages is a source of discontent for students.
Residential Living’s handbook states that each resident is charged with common area repair or replacement costs on a pro-rated basis based on the damage location. Location determines whether a wing, floor, or whole building is charged.
Many students see a small charge, usually around $5 each semester according to Mike Zsido, the assistant director of building services. Many students accrued about the same, ranging from $5 to 15.
However, the policy is still questionable in fairness. It allows irresponsible students to escape blame by forcing others to pay for their actions if they are unwilling to admit mistakes.
Living in a residence hall is like renting a hotel room. Guests pay a flat fee for a night, and if any damages occur during he stay, an additional charge to cover the cost of repair or replacement is accrued. It is understandable that such charges cannot be eliminated.
Currently, the Residence Hall Association is reevaluating community damages. It is looking at taking funds from the original room and board paid by each student to cover costs, eliminating any additional charges after the student’s initial payment. This could cause other programs to be downsized or cut to pay for the damages.
Such cuts are more reasonable, and more monetarily friendly, than forcing all students to pay out of pocket. The Pointer strongly supports the new community damages policy. Many poor college students aren’t happy to pay for damages they didn’t cause, especially when every dollar counts.