Although the Room Inspection Condition Contract (RICC) is one of the first greetings students receive upon arriving at the College, many have yet to submit their evaluation.

The pink flyers advertising the RICC instruct students to briefly describe the condition of their room so that any damages can be attributed to the responsible party.

Facilities Management's online policy states that failure to complete the form within 48 hours of campus arrival or departure "will result in a $100 non-compliance fee being charged to the student's account."

"As of [Wednesday], 170 people have yet to fill out the form," said Facilities Management Office Coordinator Sharon King.

The 48-hour arrival period has long been over, but Facilities Management has yet to issue any fines.

"We try to avoid billing whenever possible," King said. "Usually about five percent of students get billed."

King commented that the RICC form, which is submitted electronically to conserve paper and streamline the process, has been in place for three years and replaced a system in which housekeepers examined individual rooms and submitted physical inventories.

The RICC system stresses "responsibility and accountability," according to Associate Director of Facilities Operations Jeff Tuttle.

This responsibility extends beyond leaving rooms undamaged. The policy of the College as described online discourages students removing furniture from their rooms.

If Facilities Management staff finds furniture out of its original home, they can issue a "$50 furniture relocation fee."

"We want you to be comfortable and make your room your own, but bottom line, these aren't your rooms," said Tuttle.

"You're leasing them from the College and there are limitations to what you can do," he said.

Some students, especially those who purchase their own beds or couches, believe that not being allowed to move around their assigned furniture is an unnecessary limitation.

"I think a student should be allowed to move furniture out of his room as long as he assumes liability if it's damaged or stolen," said Evan Anderson '13.

"They should have a two week period at the beginning of the school year when you can return furniture," said Shelagh Merrill '12.

"If they just kept track of it, it wouldn't be a big deal," she said.

Not all students agreed with these ideas for a change in policy. Senior Tu Anh Dinh pointed to the helpfulness of keeping furniture in rooms.

It "make[s] it easier for [Facilities] Maintenance," said Dinh. "It would be keep it in the room. They provide the furniture for us."

Tuttle focused on the difficulty of moving around large amounts of student furniture.

"We're restricted by resources, both time and money," he said. The current system "is the most efficient way to manage the inventory."

Tuttle explained that a problem with students moving furniture out of rooms is that if someone is added to a vacant spot, there is no way of guaranteeing that the individual's room will have the correct furniture.

The College's policy about student furniture is generally on par with that of its peer schools.

For example, Middlebury's online facilities regulation states "No College-provided furniture may be removed from a student's bedroom for any reason...[but] limited medical or ADA exceptions may be granted with appropriate approval."

Williams' online facilities policy states that students are allowed to request the removal of furniture from their rooms if they do so before September 18 and if it is deemed relatively easy to move furniture within the dorm.

However, if students are found to have moved furniture in restricted dorms or after the deadline, they are fined $100.

"Four to five years ago we did that [Williams' policy]," said Tuttle. "But it was a resource issue. We hired a contractor—it was a great amount of labor."

King mentioned that despite some discontent with current policy requests for furniture, the moves "have diminished."

Tuttle addressed an issue that has garnered more student interest: Facilities Mangement's effect on student privacy.

Tuttle made itclear that Facilities Management does not randomly enter students' rooms in search of violations.

"We're not allowed to check the inventory of furniture in rooms," said Phyllis Soule, who works in Appleton Hall.

"If I find any furniture in the hall I just put a note on it asking for it to be moved and report it to my supervisor," she said.

Tuttle commented that during the academic year, unless made aware of a specific situation, Facilities Managment follows an inventory schedule with a focus on safety concerns.

"We do room checks—one inspection after you leave, mid-year check at the end of the first semester," said Tuttle.

"Primarily we focus on life safety issues—like tampered smoke alarms—but if we see a hole smashed in the wall, we'll write that down," he said.

"It's our last resort to enter," Tuttle added. "With garden variety requests, we always ask permission to enter."

Tuttle emphasized the close relationship between Facilities Management and The Office of Residential Life to ensure that student privacy is respected.

At the same time, he noted Facilities Management's duty to ensure that rooms, and all of the furniture inside them, are kept in safe and functional condition.