In only the seventh week of the 2013-2014 school year, Ross Hall has accumulated $1,000 worth of damages, according to Residence Life Coordinator Laura Rychalsky.
Damages regarding exit signs have been reported on the first two floors of the residence hall. These damages will be charged to all residents, including those who live on the third floor, the only female floor in Ross Hall.
Section III of the Terms and Conditions of Occupancy in the housing contract states that, in cases where responsibility for common area damage cannot be specifically assigned, all students occupying the living unit will be held responsible. This policy is set in place to cover damages caused by unknown parties.
However, students receive mixed messages about the policy and who will pay for what.
In regards to Ross Hall, Rychalsky said, “Third-floor damages are only charged to third-floor residents.”
Sophomore and former Ross Hall resident Corbin Sellers said he understands the logic behind the policy that charges all residents for damages.
“Unless you find the culprit responsible for the damages, there’s no other way to cover the expenses,” Sellers said.
Current Ross Hall resident Meredith Rashid also understands why damages are split up among the floors of the residence hall.
“If all residents must pay for damages of all locations, that should include the third floor of Ross,” Rashid said. “I see plenty of people on the third floor that do not live there who could potentially damage something.”
Last year, all Ross Hall residents were charged for damages.
Sophomore and former resident of Ross Hall Kelsey Berggren paid an additional $17 to the $25 down payment last year as a result of damages.
“There were few damages on the third floor,” Berggren said. “The additional $17 covered exit signs and window screens.”
The standing policy is not subject to change, but Directors of Residence life is open to suggestions.