Students charged for damages incurred during the fall semester

By RILEY BOARD and CAROLINE KAPP

Following a fall semester wrought with student-caused residential building damages, especially among the buildings of Atwater Commons, students living in many of these residential halls have been charged for the common space damages that were not attributable to specific perpetrators. 

“Prior to the Holiday break, all damages were totaled by building. Any damage to which a responsible student(s) had been identified was billed accordingly,” Atwater Commons Coordinator MariAnn Osborne wrote in an email to residents of Allen Hall, the Chateau, Coffrin Hall and Atwater buildings A and B. “Any remaining damage was totaled and shared equally among the residents of the area or building.  These costs were added to student accounts and labelled as ‘damage’.”

Damages across all Atwater dorms for the fall semester totaled $5,953.16. Charges across all campus residential buildings were roughly $4,200, $2,700, $3,500 and $6,010 for the 2017–18, 2016–17, 2015–16 and 2014–15 academic years, respectively.

Individual students incurred charges as little as $3 and as much as $40 for these “remaining damages.” Some charges were distributed to whole residential buildings, while others were allocated to specific hallways or towers. 

Damages in Atwater A and B included the removal of signs and urination in elevators; Allen had several signs torn from the walls; the Chateau sustained broken lounge furniture, urine and scorch marks in elevators, and destruction in bathrooms. 

Last fall, a community meeting hosted by Atwater Commons Residence Director Esther Thomas included discussions of financial responsibility for damages in common areas or halls with no identified perpetrator. Students at the meeting expressed disappointment with shared charges like the ones distributed for the Fall semester. 

Damage and charges are not limited to Atwater Commons: other halls and buildings on campus are charged accordingly for the cost of destruction maintenance.

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