By Olivia Erdman ‘17 & Lia Peck ‘17 | Collabrorative Reporters
A reckless student breaks something on the residence floor, and everyone could be paying for it.
Community damage fees are assessed to all members of a floor when an unidentified student does something requiring repair, excessive cleaning, or replacement.
A resident of Kamine Hall last school year, Duncan Brugler ‘16, was billed for a damage that he did not cause, along with the rest of his floor.
“I wasn’t exactly happy with the charges considering I wasn’t actually responsible for any of the damage,” Brugler said. If no one confesses to the damage, the entire floor must pay for extra labor hours spent repairing the destruction.
According to Associate Director of Residence Life Julie Mulé, the Community Damage Response Plan, a new system that was implemented at the end of last year, allows students to take responsibility for their own actions. Unfortunately, if no one steps up, all residents on the floor pay.
The floor or suite is notified of what has been broken or stolen and are given a certain amount of time to bring any information forward about what might have happened. If no names are given, the entire floor is billed for the extra overtime pay of a custodian, a minimum $150 for four hours, and the amount that it will cost to repair or replace the item.
Excessive weekend drinking can result in students vomiting in community bathrooms, which poses a health hazard. Director of Plant Operations Bruce Ferretti explained that when an “incident” occurs on the weekend, he must dispatch a custodian who will receive a minimum of fours hours of overtime salary, typically getting time-and-a half pay.
Mulé reassures students that this new program is to “try and empower the community to look out for others in the community.” This plan allowed the Office of Residence Life to decrease their excessive spending on clean up costs and use the money for more important things.
With controversy surrounding these fees, students have expressed their concerns and their wishes for a better system to be implemented. Max Fink ‘16 finds these fees to be “ridiculous and unfair.”
“The way I see it, students are paying a housing fee which means we are essentially renting housing from the school, thus making Lafayette College the landlords,” Fink said.
Members of the college community can anonymously report tips on community damages through the Res Life website.