At the end of the 2018-2019 academic year, Boland Hall residents found an additional one-dollar charge on their Bursar accounts which Boland Hall resident director Mark Dadetto said was for the damage caused to the exit signs in that were vandalized in the dorm.
A letter was sent out to students highlighting what had occurred and the reason behind the additional charge. Dadetto shared with The Setonian that, “over the course of three weeks, 19 exit signs were destroyed and vandalized throughout Boland Hall.”
He went on to say that on May 7, the letter sent out to the Boland Hall community was meant to inform that, “if the damage continued and a responsible party could not be determined the entire community would be charged for the damages.”
Kitt Jordan, rising sophomore diplomacy and international relations major, commented on the additional charge.
Jordan said that Mark Dadetto’s letter warned residents of the future charge. According to Dadetto’s letter, in addition to the exit signs, some light fixtures were also broken.
Jordan highlighted her experiences while living at Boland Hall, saying that it was subpar.
“Although I was very fortunate to find friends in my assigned roommates and I loved my RA, the housing staff was less than professional, and the living conditions were disappointing,” she said.
Jordan went on further by saying that, “since the University overbooked the amount of freshmen admitted on campus, my suite in Boland that was intended for four people to reside in, was forced to hold six altogether. That meant that six of us were collectively paying $27,000 to live in a room with two additional closets, dresser drawers and beds than the room held the year prior.”
Jordan highlighted further issues like a lack of ladders when she moved into Boland in August, a lack of air conditioners and heaters in the rooms and the fact that they were required to give up their rooms over breaks without “any information regarding who was staying in there and no way to protect our personal belongings or toiletries, of which we paid for with our own money on top of the $4,500 each semester for the room itself.”
Sarah Hyser, another rising sophomore diplomacy and international relations major also commented on her opinion of Boland Hall. She said that she took particular issue with the inconsistent Wi-Fi connection and laundry room that was “notoriously difficult to use.”
“Boland Hall is certainly not the ideal living situation most of the time,” Hyser said. “I lived in one of the halls with communal bathrooms and there was always hair in the showers and someone broke multiple toilet seats in my bathroom. That said, a dorm is a dorm and I would not expect it to be perfect.”
Jordan went on to share her opinion of the charge saying that it, “goes back to the unprofessionalism mentioned above in my experiences of Boland. I will be the first to admit that a $1 charge to a bill that already tops thousands of dollars would hardly be noticed by me, hence why I didn’t attempt to argue against the charge with higher authority.”
She then said that she was more disappointed with the Boland Housing staff based off the principal of the situation. She found the way that students were informed of the charge was manipulative and was not fair to students who had nothing to do with damaging the signs. Hyser shared this sentiment, saying that they University could have investigated more in order to determine the students who were actually responsible for the damage.
Hyser said that $1 seemed like an “arbitrary number to charge” and believes that $1 a student most likely wouldn’t be enough to fix all the exit signs that were damaged.
Dadetto said that an investigation was performed by the University investigator in Public Safety and that Dadetto worked with him to try to determine the responsible party.
“We also followed up on any information that was given to us by residents of the Boland community,” Dadetto said. “Unfortunately, we were not able to determine who was responsible for the damage.”
He went on to describe that the decision came from him with the help and guidance of the Director and Associate Director of Housing and Residence Life.
“After parts and labor one exit sign costs $115 to repair. After giving a warning on the 7th, six more exit signs were destroyed/vandalized,” Dadetto said. “In the Housing License Agreement, it states that if damage occurs in commons areas and the party responsible cannot be determined the entire community can be charged. This is also a common practice at other Universities.”
He concluded by saying that, “considering Boland Hall’s history, fire safety and the safety of the Boland residential community is one of the most important aspects of my position.”
Rhania Khamel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.