Over the years at Benedictine University, students who reside in the Founders Woods apartments have been painting the walls in their apartments. Some paint just a wall or two in the living room, and some go as far as painting their bedrooms and bathrooms as well.
According to Monica Miller, Assistant Director of Residence Life, “The painting of apartments has never been permitted in Founders Woods, it may have been tolerated in the past but this is no longer the case”, says Miller. Miller explained why there is a sudden change of heart. “We have a new Facilities Management department on campus and the approach we are taking together is consistency. We want to ensure that there is quality in the way apartments are painted, the materials used and consistency of color and finish.”
The topic was brought up at the annual mandatory Founders Woods residents’ meeting on Tuesday, August 30th. R.A.’s and campus police went through safety precautions and rules as they do every other year. It wasn’t until the issue of decorating apartments came up that things became contentious.
“It’s ridiculous. We should be able to paint if we are paying for the apartments and buying the paint ourselves”, says senior, Autumn Grady.
A fellow senior, Katie McKay, echoes Grady’s sentiments. “I’ve lived in Founders for three years and never has there been an issue painting apartments before. Res life and the police have been in my previous apartments with paint on the walls and no one said anything.”
“If they do decide to implement the policy this year, they should give immunity to those who were unaware of the policy, said McKay.”
While there is no exact dollar amount that the fine will be, it will be a significant amount. The new policy states that when a room is painted by a resident, a professional painter will be hired to repaint the apartment back to the original shade of white it was before. The residents of the apartment will then be charged the cost the painter charges for his or her work.
In regards to why there cannot be a set cost given to students, Director of Facilities Management on campus, Ryan Merrick said, “Every situation is different. The cost for painting which is passed on to the student is completely dependent on how much paint/drywall/etc is used and how many labor hours are spent to do the repair.”
Not only has painting been restricted, but the use of holiday and/or string lights have been as well. They have become a safety issue with the lights leaving burn marks on the walls where they were hung. Punishment for lights on the wall will result in an RA writing an incident report to assess for damage and then they will need to remove the lights immediately.