Resident hall pranks can cost residents money


Screenshot of e-mail sent out to residents.

Martin Harp

Students that pull pranks in the residence halls might find themselves, or their entire floor, facing a charge to their student accounts.

A prank in Stopher and Johnson Halls on Feb. 17 lead to an email being sent out from the residence hall director to residents telling them about the potential costs of the prank. The prank involved the furniture of a floor’s lounge being flipped upside down. Residents could find themselves paying money if it is to happen again because Residence Services must contact a specialized university moving crew to come and fix the furniture.

Josette Skobieranda Dau, an assistant director for residential communities in the Residence Services department, said this isn’t the first thing that residents have done to cause a charge to be issued.

“Soap dispensers get ripped off the wall and toilet paper dispensers get ripped off the wall. Plaster gets busted in from people hitting the wall or opening doors violently,” said Skobieranda Dau.

Residents who aren’t guilty won’t always face a charge however. Skobieranda Dau said the department tries to find who’s responsible first and issues out a letter called the “intent to bill.”

“The ‘intent to bill’ actually contains what happened, when it happened and what the cost projection is,” she said.

Residence Services said they give the residents about five days to come forward with information before they issue a charge. If no residents come forward with information then the floor or building faces a charge to their student account.

“When we can’t find who’s responsible we divide the cost among either the floor or the building, depending on what’s most appropriate,” said Skobieranda Dau.


Resident assistant Amber Erwin of Centennial Court C & D signs in for her nightly rounds Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. Photo copyright Paul R. Csizmadia Photography 2013.

Mitchell Centanne, sophomore pre-nursing major and resident of Koonce Hall, said there was an incident on his floor where lounge chairs were broken and that there’s no other way for the university to figure it out.

“I wish the guilty party would be more responsible, but what do you expect when people are breaking school property,” said Centanne.

Brian Fitzmaurice, freshman psychology major and resident of Wright Hall, said there was an incident on his floor that saw him facing a charge.

“I got charged $25 for doing nothing,” he said. “It’s absurd that I’m getting fined for something I didn’t do.”

Even though Fitzmaurice was upset, he said he understood the policy.

“If you don’t charge everyone, no one’s getting in trouble so people will keep doing it, so I understand,” said Fitzmaurice.

Residence Services does distinguish between vandalism and accidents, according to Skobieranda Dau. A student in Prentice accidentally broke a window while playing pool, reported it right away, and no one was billed, she said.

Lake Hall recently had a soap dispenser ripped off the wall and the floor was charged $2.48 per person, said Skobieranda Dau.

“We really look at each as a case by case basis,” said Skobieranda Dau.

For more information on residence hall policies and rules, click here.

Contact Martin Harp at [email protected].