ResCom is the only University of Tampa dorm with the luxury of balconies. But with the strict regulations made by campus housing involving acceptable use of balconies, some students wonder if the risk of getting written up is worth the convenience.
ResCom residents enjoy taking advantage of sunbathing and people watching from their balconies, but some have been written up for leaving things like towels, chairs and shirts on them.
This is because the Campus Living Guidelines permit that ‘balconies are not to be used for cooking, smoking, storage or to dry/display clothing, signs, etc.’
‘I think RA’s [resident assistants], are wasting time writing people up,’ said Evan Konecky who was written up with a warning for leaving a chair out on his balcony.
‘I felt I was being wrongfully scrutinized for unnecessary reasons.’
Students have even been written up for having flags and signs in the windows of their balconies.
But with the rules clearly stated in the contract, RA’s defend that students should know better.
The first step before an actual write up is a verbal/written warning, so RAs and Area Coordinators feel they give residents a chance to fix the problem.
‘The policy has been the same for the six years that I have worked in Residence Life at UT,’ said Krystal Schofield, director of Residence Life.
Some offenses may be taken more lightly than others.
‘If there are items on the balcony that are a fire hazard or violation of the other policies, then the sanctions may be different,’ said Schofield.
ResCom is one of the harder buildings to get for campus housing because entry is based on the average number of credits of all four roommates.
Students who live there say the competition is fierce because of the homey environment.
‘ResCom is more like an apartment because of things like the balconies,’ said ResCom RA Lorian Knapp. ‘It’s nice to be able to just step out from your room and get some fresh air.’
Head resident of ResCom Amanda Adas agrees.
‘It’s nice to be able to enjoy the Florida weather,’ said Adas. ‘I know a lot of UT students are from up north and want to take advantage of the warmth.’
Some say the balcony rules are made more for uniformity in order to make the campus more aesthetically pleasing.
Others say the rules are mainly a safety hazard in any event that the wind may blow something off that may hit a person or a car.
‘As long as you are out with you on the balcony when you have something out, you are fine,’ said Adas. ‘But that’s why it’s a tough judgment call whether someone left something out or if they just stepped back in their room for a minute.’
As of this year, no one has been kicked off campus for a balcony write-up. But ResCom residents beware, a drying towel on a balcony could be a costly offense.