Small vent-- apologies in advance

<p>Ok-- so I get an email from the TU accounts receivable office with a bill. First I figure its for something DS perhaps charged at the college store. Nope, he's pretty good about paying for his own stuff with the monthly allowance we give him (and he has saved most of that allowance money, I am proud to say). Anyway, I digress. We were told at the beginning of the year that if there is damage to the dorm, they spread the cost out to all the residents since they most often know who caused it or whose barf they are cleaning up (sorry to be blunt). We got a relatively small bill in the fall for some damage that my s told us about (he had no part in it and it was on another floor entirely, but he was awareof some incident and warned us that we'd probably ge a small bill). So I paid that bill last semester. So I get a bill today for $42.41 Granted, this is not a lot of money, but the dorm has 12 floors with about 32 kids or more per floor, and my s said that his floor had the lowest assessed "housing community damage" fees of all the 12 floors. Gee, makes a mother proud. But I digress again. </p>

<p>What the heck could these kids really have done to warrant a $17K or more "community damage" fee?? Seems like a bit of a racket to me. Its not like we get to see a list of damages and assessed repair or clean-up fees. I understand that the cleaning crew does not want to have to clean up excessive... er... residual... regurgitated food and drink , shall we say, from a night out at the Boot or something, but geez, $17K in "damages? My s said the school pads these bills, but I don't know where he's getting this info from (though he is a floor representative to the govt association, so maybe se's seen some numbers-- I am not sure).</p>

<p>So warn your kids to clean up after themselves and that you might pass this "damage repair bill" on to them. I understand that they cant really determine who is responsible for what, but the base college fees should include reasonable repair costs. We never had to pay any such bill at older s's college, and his floormates broke the lighted hall "exit" sign that was suspended from the ceiling the first week they were at school!</p>

<p>Oh, rant over.</p>

<p>I wouldn't say they "pad" the bills, but they certainly charge egregious prices for cleaning or maintenance charges.</p>

<p>^^ Thats what I meant to say, AC574. Thanks for clarifying. I don't think they falsify the bill and make stuff up, but they may get their billing model from the places (eg the govt) that paid thousands for toilets and wrenches. :)</p>

<p>Our experience with S in 3 years on campus (and 3 different dorms) was that TU charged him EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Even the year he practically lived alone and there was basically no damage. I became convinced that they automatically assess these fees as a matter of course. The first year, I assumed it was deserved that he was charged. The 2nd year, when he explained to me that EVERYBODY gets charged, I started to believe him. By the 3rd year, I was convinced this is true. </p>

<p>I thought about fighting it, but since the charges weren't excessive (ie similar to what you mention), it didn't seem worth it. I'm glad he's in an apartment now and so is he.
He wishes he would've lived off campus junior year too.</p>

<p>Thats interesting... and disappointing, curiouser. Seems like they should call a few of the scholarships the "dorm community damage fee scholarship" from the money they collect :)</p>

<p>I can't believe your s is about to be a senior already, curiouser! How time flies!</p>

<p>Wheres ivoryk? Her d must be a rising junior by now!! Yikes!</p>

<p>I may start a thread in the forum to see if any other schools assess this "maintenance fee".</p>

<p>Jym, your rant is appreciated. I feel like every week I am getting another bill for some ridiculous charge. Why don't they just take it out of the $1700 student activity fee every semester, as I am still trying to decipher what the hell that even is. ::sigh::</p>

<p>Actually, jym, S is graduating on May 16. It's been a challenging four years, particularly with Katrina starting things off, and an unexpected surgery right before finals in December. I am so excited that I when we out invitations/announcements I had to throw in celebratory mardi gras beads in with it. We have a record number of family/friends coming to NOLA to celebrate with us. </p>

<p>To see this class in particular graduate after the very rough start they had is something really special. I've been watching swine flu news like a hawk and praying it doesn't stop this Commencement!!</p>

<p>^^^^ WOW! I forgot he was in the Katrina class. That is so exciting!! ... and what would the Katrina class do without a little more excitement. So, this time its swine flu...</p>

<p>Best of luck and have a blast at graduation. Ellen DeGeneres should be funny to listen to. We had a satirist at my college graduation (Art Buchwald-- newspaper columnsit). Definitely good to have a humorous graduation speech!!</p>

<p>here's ivoryk. Yes, daughter did get a charge last year, but it didn't seem exorbitant since she said some kids had ripped some toilets out of walls on one of the floors. I paid that but there was a slight room charge for damage as well and I made her pay that. Yes.... D is a rising junior -- scheduled to go abroad in the fall and moving into an apartment upon her return. It has been a very rough approach to finals -- hard classes and then last week a Tulane friend died, apparently of a brain aneurysm, in his hometown a few hours away. The funeral was yesterday -- the school provided buses, but D had to go straight from a final to a funeral. There is a memorial on campus tomorrow. D is quite shaken, as you might imagine, and very worried about performance on finals. I have reiterated that sometimes life teaches you that what you think is most important doesn't matter a whit.</p>

<p>Hi ivoryk!
Thank you for sharing the info about the student. It is awful news, especially at finals time. I emailed ds just to check in to see if he's ok. No response yet, but I am guessing he didnt know the student. You are so right-- this puts a $50-$60 damage fee in perspective.....</p>

<p>Jym626... While I can sympathize with you that $17,000 in damages/cleanup for one semester seems excessive, I can also understand how this happens. D1 was an RA for 4 years; 2 years as an undergrad at one school and 2 years as a grad student at another. The stories she used to tell about the total lack of respect for school property made my naturally straight hair curl! Some of these kids would basically vomit, urinate and deposit other bodily fluids and waste anywhere the darn well pleased. This was especially true on weekends when they partying was going on strong. All of this had to be cleaned up in a quick and sanitary manner. And the destruction to furniture, vending machines, walls, carpet, windows, blinds and fire extinguishers in common areas of the dorm can easily add up to thousands of dollars. D said the worst part of all this was the attitude of some of the students who felt that since "I pay a ton of money to come to this school, the least they can do is clean up my puke when I drink too much!"</p>

<p>^^^ Ewww, peachy. Thats pretty grim, and a sad testament to the attitude/ lack of personal responsiblity of many students at many schools. I started a thread, based on this one, in the parents forum to see what the experiences were at other schools. They ranged from "never got any kind of damage fee assessed" to stories similar to what peachy reported. There was a story last year at, I want to say UMD or somewhere, where the cleaning staff essentially went on strike because of the grim stuff they were having to clean. They did assess a fee to the dorm residents of that dorm, but it was national news. Seems its more commonplace than one would want to think.</p>

<p>My D goes to Cornell. She lived in an all-girls dorm last year and in an all-girls sorority house this year. I never heard anything like this. We never received any damage charges. In fact, on move-out day last year the RA came with the right yellow-colored paint to cover up any missing paint on the walls from the removal of all the taped-up items all over the walls. How nice was that? Anyways, I am reading this thread because my S will start at Tulane in August. Glad to get a heads-up on this problem. A lot of kids today have no respect for the property of others. Sad. :(</p>

<p>Thanks everyone for posting this information. I just paid one of these "tuition" bills. Since the charge is pretty small and seems to be somewhat standard at Tulane, further investigation seems to be more trouble than it's worth.</p>

<p>The damage billing does really suck... but just so you know, your son or daughter does receive an email every time something goes on their damage bill saying what the billing is for, so if you'd like to know what it is every time you get a $4.17 charge for vomit in the 4th floor Sharp stairwell, ask them to forward them to you.</p>

<p>trackie - the vomit or the e-mail? LOL.</p>

<p>He mentioned one item forwarded in one email: "bloody condom in vending machine". That was enought info for me. Ewww.</p>

<p>That was the worst damage billing out of a whole year of them. Worse, it might have been on my floor ;)</p>

<p>What floor were you on, AC574?</p>

<p>I lived in Monroe this past year. In the interest of my privacy though, if you really want to know that information is available in the damage report.</p>