Health and Safety FAQs

Q. I was fined for a violation, but I didn’t even know that it was a violation. How is that fair?
A. You as a student are responsible for knowing what is or is not a violation. Each student signs a housing agreement, part of which states:

“…I also acknowledge my responsibility to read and comply with all College Policies and
procedures set forth in publications and on-line resources including the Undergraduate
Catalogue, Student Handbook, and Residential Life Guide…”

In addition, the college takes these steps to educate students:
• Health and Safety information, including a list of illegal appliances, is posted in each residence hall
• RAs cover the information at floor meetings
• The information is posted on www.ithaca.edu/reslife/csindex.htm
• In the beginning of the year, each student is given a brochure detailing everything about health and safety checks, including when and how they are conducted, what is illegal, and the fine structure.

Once you have been been documented for a Health and Safety violation, the fine will not be reversed.

Q. I got a notice that I was in violation, and I took care of it, but now I am still being fined. Why?
A. We do checks in September that are designed to be educational in nature. During that time, if you are found with Health and Safety Violations and come into compliance by the specified date, you will not be fined or judicially referred. You will be automatically charged for violations at all other checks during the academic year. RAs explain this in September, and this information is included in the Health and Safety brochure each student gets. It’s great that you removed the violation – that’s exactly the right thing to do- but it does not change the fact that there was a violation in the first place.

Q. My violation has been there all year and no one has said anything until now. Why am I being fined now?
A. If your violation has been there all year, then it must have been missed during previous checks. It is unfortunate, but it does happen, and it does not exempt you from being fined.

Q. I was fined for something that my RA knows about. Since my RAs never said anything, I thought that it was ok to have. Why am I being fined?
A. RAs are supposed to document policy violations, but they do not always catch them. In the end, you and you alone are responsible for knowing and following Residential Life Rules and Regulations.

Q. I was fined for a violation that was not on my side of the room. It was on my roommates’ side. Why am I being fined?
A. There are two people living in your room. Both of you are responsible for everything that happens in your room. Both of you had the ability to address the fact that there was a violation. Therefore you are both held accountable for it.

Q. I was fined for a violation that was on my roommates’ side of the room. I asked them to remove it before, but they didn’t do it. Why am I being fined?
A. If you confront your roommate about a violation and they do not remove it, you need to seek help from an RA or an RD. You must do this in order to make it clear that you knew there was a violation and tried to work with your roommate to correct it. Otherwise you are still held accountable for the violation.

Q. I bought an appliance from a website and it said that it was “college-approved”. Why am I being fined?
A. There is no such thing as “college-approved”. If the appliance is on the list of illegal appliances, then it is illegal. Any exceptions would have been noted on the list.

Q. The room trash fee is $30 and is split between roommates. Health and Safety fines are $25 (or more) and are not split between roommates. Why is this?
A. The Office of Facilities sets the fee for room trash. Environmental Health and Safety sets the fine amount for Health and Safety violations. Room trash is considered the same as room damage, which is why the cost is divided among all residents of a room or apartment. Health and Safety fines are assessed to all individuals in a room, and are not divided.