Sunday, February 14, 2010

RCRs or Room Condition Reports

RCR (Room Condition Reports)

The housing of students on the Alfred University Campus is organized and administrated by the Office of Residence Life, located in Bartlett Hall. In each residence hall on campus the Office of Residence life employs a number of staff members in order to assist student residents. A current graduate studies student acts as the building's Resident Director (RD). Serving under the RD are student workers who are current University undergraduate sophomores, juniors or seniors. These students act as Resident Assistants (RA) {other university's classify RAs as Resident Advisors}
One of the key roles and responsibilities of the Resident Assistants is to prepare their building area for the arrival of new students (check in) as well as the departure of students from the campus at the end of the academic year, (check out). The primary duty involved in the "Check In/Check Out" procedure is the completion of Room Condition Reports or RCR's.
The RCR consists of a yellow top sheet as well as a bottom white carbon copy. (In previous years an additional pink carbon copy was included in the RCR) The RCR form contains a table noting the list of furniture and items generally included within a student's room. There are spaces within the table for the Resident Assistant to asses the condition of the item both before the student moves into the building as well as the item's condition upon the students departure from either the room, the campus or both. Incoming residents sign agreeing to the assessment of the condition of items in the room upon check in and also sign out at the end of term (or earlier in the case of on campus move, withdraw, leave of absence, or academic dismissal).
If the condition of the items in the room have changed between check in and check out (example, if an RA lists a window screen as good or present at the beginning of the term and checks a student out of the same room with a broken or missing window screen) the University assigned appropriate charges for the repair or replacement of an item.
Resident Assistants return to campus approximately two weeks before the rest of the student population in order to be trained in current university residential living policy, policy enforcement, office of residence life procedures, and personal development. During this time RAs are expected to complete other aspects of their employment, such as the creation of themed hall decorations, door or name tags for incoming residents, to creation and display of a bulletin board and most importantly the completion of RCRs for each and every incoming resident.
RCRs are completed per resident rather than per room, as most rooms at Alfred University are double occupancy. As there are some shared spaces of a double occupancy room (floor, walls, door, window, ect) as well as individual items (bed, dresser, desk, closet space ect) an RCR is filled out for each side of the room noting the condition of the items and side of the room that a specific room mate is assigned. Often these designations are listed left/ right or else window/door. Example: Suzie Q is the resident in Openhym 211 Left or, Daisy Jane is the resident of Kenyon J3 Window. As well as assessing the condition of items within a resident's room pre-check in the completion of the RCR helps to avoid possible problems during the check in process. It is not uncommon for RAs to find items or rooms in an undesirable condition upon filling out the RCR- this especially happens in the room has not been inhabited since the previous term, or else if the University has used the room to house summer school students, summer campers or other non regular student residents. If an RA encounters a broken or otherwise unsatisfactory item within a room the problem is addressed if at all possible prior to the check in of students.

In general Resident Assistants hate RCRs. The director of Residence Life has been known to state during RA training that RCRs "pave the road to hell". They are an inefficient and subjective system to evaluate the condition of a room. Differing opinions of what "good" means can often lead to issues for both RAs and residents. This is especially the case if the RA who checks out a student is not the same RA who checked them in- if one did not personally fill out the form it is hard to determine if an item has been damaged or further worn by a resident if the information on the form is listed only as "good". As a university with aging residence halls as well as furniture the question is often not if an item is damaged but by how much. The daily wear and tear and occasional abuse of many students leads to very worn items that it is often nearly impossible to imagine a student putting any more wear and tear on an object. Often short of something being broken to pieces, a piece of furniture will be listed as good, no matter how marked, scuffed, chipped, bent, vandalized, scratched or otherwise abused an item is. Aside from the ever present question of what "good" means, RAs hate RCRS for a variety of reasons. The immensely small size of the grid that items are listed in produces excruciating writing cramp before one asses whether or not the smoke detector is "working". Also, RCRs must be filled out or "opened and closed" for each student that moves in or out of a space. It is vital that RCRs contain the correct information regarding students placement within rooms. If the information contained within the census information on banner web does not match the RCRs the RCRs must be changed and updated, not the other way around despite what may seem more logical. This is a particular problem in the Pine Hill Suites and Ford Street Apartments where communal living option exist on campus. If roommates are improperly assigned in bannerweb, or students move themselves without notifying Residence life staff, the RCRs filled out will have inaccurate information- causing the RA of the residents in question to fill out multiple RCRs on many different occasions to keep an appropriate and accurate report of what students are in what room. As RCRs contain somewhat confidential information (student ID number) and are needed in day to day Residence Life Staff operations the building RCRs are kept in a centralized building office.

RAs generally develop a certain shorthand or basic categories what items my be described as on the RCR:
New: Brand New Item (very rare, although becoming more common in mattresses)
Very Good: Close to brand new- no very apparent damage
Good: there is eternal debate as to what "good" means
Some Marks/Staining/Scratches
Fine: used in replacement for or in conjunction with "Good"
No Damage: Generally not as Good as Good
Worn: noticeable damage,stain or marking
Very Worn: Very noticeable damage,stain or marking
Damaged: (explanation) if something is really broken RAs sometimes make a note of it on the RCR, more commonly they try to get it fixed before check in
Present : used for items that cannot really be damaged, but can be removed, IE window screens, ethernet ports
Working: used for lights and smoke detector
Red Light On: Smoke detector use only - indicate that the red light indicating active function is on
Same: the favorite check out maker- denotes that item is SACI or Same As Check In.

No comments:

Post a Comment