Room Damages: What are You Being Charged For?

Michaela Campbell, Contributing Writer

Soon it will be that time of the year where everyone starts packing up for home again. Students all over the BW campus will gather all their things, check out and head home to a bill from the office of Residence Life charging under the non-descript, umbrella term “room damages.” Where did these damages come from and why do you have to pay?
Room charges are very confusing to most students here at Baldwin Wallace University. Room charges are placed onto your room for outstanding damages that were left in your room after you went home for the summer.
Charges occur when there is a broken or missing piece of furniture or a chip in the wall. They also vary from building to building. But how does one know how much each chip or scratch should cost?
There’s only one person to go to for answers to these kinds of questions: head of Residence Life Robin Gagnow. Robin explained the process that takes place after you are about to leave your room for the summer. First, a Resident Assistant (RA) goes into each room with the resident’s Room Condition Report, which you signed at the beginning of the year, and checks to see if there are any new damages that were not previously recorded on the sheet. If there are any new damages, the RA will record them and ask how the new damages happened and who is responsible for them.
From there, after everyone has left, RAs will again go back through damaged rooms with the Housing Director (HD) and check to see what the damages are once more and assess them. But your RA’s and HD’s are not the one’s settling the cost of your charges.
After all is said and done, Robin Gagnow goes in and checks rooms with damages and assesses them with a master list he has created. He looks at any damages and assesses the cost to replace or fix the item. He hires outside contractors as well to come in and assess how much it will cost per wall to fix any holes or chips. Robin explained that most walls on campus cost up to $100 to fix, but Residence Life typically only charges $80 per wall.
Each building is different because in buildings like North and Findley, where the walls are brick, it’s harder to assess damages. In newer buildings like E-Hause and Carmel, where the walls are dry wall, damages and chips are more likely to happen. Last year alone, Residence Life collected around $5000 in damages, and even absorbed most of the damages that took place.
If there are ever any damages in your room throughout the year, or if there are any outstanding damages at the beginning, talk to your RA and show them. The charges will be alleviated and damages will be fixed faster.
Robin suggests that everyone should be careful of what they place on walls, because most adhesive, especially on dry wall, will peel off the paint. Residence Life is doing all that it can to help eliminate room charges.
In E-Hause, Residence Life placed tack strips on the walls for students to hang any posters or pictures that could cause damages. If all goes well the strips will be placed in more of the dorms.
To minimize these charges, Residence Life suggests that you make sure to take care of your room and keep up with damages throughout the year, and assures that Residence Life is not out to get students with charges; making sure damages are repaired is an important part keeping the campus a great stay in the great rooms all around campus.