Mixed messages floated through residence halls in the past week as some students learned of higher fines for violations of Residence Life and Education rules.
Some residence directors informed students during residence hall meetings the first week of classes that fines for rule violations would significantly increase – including $150 for breaking visitation rules the first time and $275 leaving doors open. In addition, students learned the university’s dress code would more strictly be enforced.
However, John Delony, assistant dean of ResLife, said he had not been aware that his staff had been handing out information about higher fines and said the changes are still under consideration.
“I shared a Google document with my staff, and I had changed the fines on that document, but I had yet to give the changes to Dr. Thompson to approve,” Delony said. “The information should not have been passed out until its final approval.”
Delony said he does support raising certain fines. He agrees that individuals should be fined for going in and out of buildings when they are not supposed to be there.
“This year I want to make sure that my fines and policies are backed up,” Delony said. “There will no longer be a fine list handed out to students.”
Delony said the effort to increase fines was not a result of major problems last year. He also said, contrary to popular belief by students, ResLife does not make a profit off of the fines given out. It charges whatever is necessary to fix damages to the dorms.
Students’ reactions varied upon hearing the rumors about the raised fines.
Whitney Pittard, sophomore graphic design and advertising major from Marble Falls, said she opposes the proposed increases.
“I don’t think it’s very fair of ACU to raise fines on college students who already have so many money stresses to deal with during these years of school,” she said. “I understand the school is attempting to eliminate incidents from occurring, however the students who break these rules are the students who will continue to break these rules no matter how high the fines become, so the increase in fines is essentially pointless.”
Travis Houy, sophomore music education major from Fredericksburg, disagreed.
“I think raising the price for fines is an incentive to keep students in the dorms from breaking dorm rules and is perfectly acceptable,” Houy said.
For now, students can breathe a sigh of relief until ResLife releases the approved fines list.