Dorm Damage Fees Rile Students


When something is damaged in a residence hall, someone has to pay for it. At Curry College, it’s usually a lot of people.

Depending on the extent of the damage, a whole floor of students or an entire residence hall can be billed—and often are—to repair or replace things.

When the person responsible for the damage isn’t identified, the college will divide the costs among all students who live within the specified area, according to Stephanie Alliette, assistant director of housing operations at Curry. Many other colleges maintain a similar policy.

However, it still creates obvious tension among students, who are routinely frustrated that they must pay for the damage or theft done by others. Briana Oman, a sophomore psychology major, is among the many Curry students who receive regular emails from the college informing her that she has been fined for dorm damage.

“It gets annoying paying for people’s mistakes when I have nothing to do with it,” she said. “Most of the times I get fined are after a weekend, when a lot of people do stupid things when they’re drinking or going out. It gets frustrating, especially because often I’m not even in the building when this stuff goes on.”

The current system aims to compel students to hold their peers accountable, and to encourage the sharing of information about wrongdoing with resident assistants.

“Residents are highly encouraged to come forward and share any information they know, with the goal of minimizing community cost and identifying those at fault,” said Alliette. “This is why we continue to promote civility in the residence halls and encourage peers to hold each other accountable.”

All students who live on campus already pay a $400 damage deposit. However, the college expects all residence hall fines to be paid upon notice. At the conclusion of the spring semester, a final damage assessment is performed in each student’s room and the residence hall in general. Any fines levied from that assessment, as well as any previously unpaid residence hall-related fines, are deducted from the deposit. The remainder is then returned to the student within 30 days.

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