Housing and Dining addresses damage charges

By Jalen Cobb

DeKALB | “You break it, you buy it” is the policy Housing and Dining follows when damages are made to any floor in the residence halls.

“Our goal is to hold the responsible individual(s) accountable, and to educate them about appropriate behavior and standards of communal living,” said Dave LaBanc, director of residential operations at Housing and Dining.

The person responsible, however, isn’t always clear, therefore the residents of that floor shoulder the cost for these damages even if they had nothing to do with it, LaBanc said.

In the event the person responsible isn’t identified, the community members that share access to the space where the damage occurred will be charged, he said.

“The charges assessed help offset the cost of repair and replacement of the damaged or stolen property,” LaBanc said.

Junior psychology major Reco Bates said this policy is inconsiderate of the innocent parties on the floor.

“It’s unfair that you have to be charged for something you didn’t do,” Bates said.

This is not to say that Housing and Dining automatically charges everyone. LaBanc said they take a period of time to try and narrow down anyone who was involved with the incident.

“If the person responsible is not found within 14 days of the damage, then the entire floor is charged,” LaBanc said.

The person responsible for the act has to come forth and say that he/she committed the act. Once this has been done, a referral may be made to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct depending on the severity of the damage, he said.

“It depends on what’s broken,” said Shannon Nelson, junior sociology major. “I don’t believe everyone should be charged on the floor, but it depends,”

The policy was not put in place to make students angry, however, it is important they learn the respect that should be held for the residence halls, LaBanc said.

“Our policy to charge the floor was implemented to educate residents of their responsibilities and expected behavior as part of a larger community,” he said.