Common Area Damage

Damage to common areas is billed to residents with access to that living area when the individual(s) responsible is/are not identified. When a student has knowledge that an individual has caused damage to a common area, it is his/her responsibility to share that information with a residence hall staff member. Damage to the community areas of the residence hall will be charged directly to the person(s) responsible for such damage. Each Residence Director will maintain and update an area in the residence hall tracking damage to the hall and its effect on the community. Any damages that cannot be traced to the responsible individual(s) will be assessed collectively to the residents of the hall at the end of each academic term. Common areas are defined as lobbies, recreation areas, study areas, hallways, stairwells, community and public bathrooms, elevators, dormers, laundry facilities, and building exterior. A living area is defined as either the floor/wing/suite or the entire building.

Premise

Each student, as a contributing member of the residential community, is responsible for the prevention of accidental or intentional damage within his/her place of residence. When such damage does occur, it is the responsibility of the students to identify the individual(s) responsible, or to absorb the cost of repair.

Guiding Principals

Students are responsible for their actions, the actions of their guests, and are expected to take an interest in the community around them.

Repairs or clean-up billed as common area damages are those which are considered beyond normal wear and tear.

Repairs or clean-up billed as common area damage are those which are believed to be acts of vandalism, misuse or irresponsibility.

Rationale

Someone is always present in a residential building. As such, any student has the potential to have information that may identify who is responsible for the damage. If each community member pays attention to inappropriate behavior and loud noises, students can prevent the damage from occurring or identify the responsible person(s).

How decisions are made

Damages are tracked by the Office of Residential Life. The item will be considered billable if it is believed that the damage was, or could have been, done by students or witnessed by students. It will also be considered billable if it is believed that the damage could have been prevented. This would be the case if:

  • the individual gained access to the building by following a resident into the building;
  • the individual gained access by entering through a propped door;
  • the individual was a guest of someone in the building;
  • a stranger without an escort in the building goes unreported;
  • irresponsible behavior is not addressed by building residents and damage occurs.

If the person(s) responsible or witnesses come forward, the damage charge is assessed to the person responsible for the damage.

Once it is determined that a damage is "billable," a decision is made as to who should be billed. A number of factors are taken into consideration: location, frequency, access, consistency and type of damage, intended use of location, and amount of traffic at location. The answers to these questions will determine if the charge is a floor/wing/suite charge or a building charge. At no point will an individual be excused from a common area damage charge billed to their living area.

Room and area damages will be collected at check-out. Students who decline to pay damage charges at check-out will have their student account billed for the damage amount plus an additional $5 processing fee.