School of Communication equipment room implements new late-return policies

The School of Communication Equipment room instituted a new late fee policy at the beginning of this academic year. Isabella Cueto // News Editor

The School of Communication Equipment room instituted a new late fee policy at the beginning of this academic year. Isabella Cueto // News Editor

Students considering returning production equipment late to the School of Communication (SoC) might want to think twice from now on, as new fees were rolled out this year for late returns.

The SoC equipment room is in charge of providing two-day rentals of digital video, still photo and audio equipment to students. However, not all students have been adhering to the two-day rental rule. After students repeatedly returned equipment late, production technician Thomas Rodriguez proposed new policies to incentivize timely returns.

Any student who returns rented equipment any later than noon on the return date will be charged. If the student fails to return the equipment, he or she will receive a two-dollar fee per hour late, up to $10 per day.

If the student fails to return equipment five business days past the due date, he or she will be responsible for the full price of each item. This policy applies even if students have lost the equipment.

According to production equipment supervisor Tod Landess, the average student checks out approximately $5,000 worth of equipment.

Although the late fee policy is new this year, existing policies still apply. The three-strike policy that can ultimately lead to temporary deactivation of the student’s rental account is still in effect, even if students pay the late charges. Upon the first late return, a student will be let off with a warning. The second time it happens, the student and his or her professor will receive an email advisory. After a third time, the student’s account will be suspended.

One of the main reasons reinforcements could be added this year was because the equipment room will soon be using a software that makes it easier to fine students. The equipment room’s current program highlights a student’s name if the rental is late but does not allow an option to fine their account. Students will be able to pay the fines online through the SoC website.

According to Rodriguez, these measures are meant to enforce return times so other students, who reserved equipment ahead of time, are not left empty-handed.

“It’s unfair to the student that made the proper reservations. We would have to turn them away, it would happen quite often,” said Rodriguez.

Last year, senior Crystina Lugo-Beach was trying to check out equipment for a project due the following week, but another student had failed to return the equipment she reserved in advance. The situation was frustrating enough that she ended up calling the student with the equipment, Lugo-Beach said, but she only got an apology.

Lugo-Beach said the new rules will work because they scare people into being responsible. She is hopeful the measures will prevent circumstances like the one she was in.

“You may be messing up someone’s entire shoot they’ve schedule months in advance due to you being irresponsible,” Lugo-Beach said.

Emma Hanrahan, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism, was the first student to be fined and pay a late fee this semester. She said that although she didn’t like paying the two-dollar fee, she understood the need for some kind of enforcement.

“If everyone brought their equipment back a day late, or three hours late, then people in line wouldn’t be able to get their equipment, so I do understand,” Hanrahan said.

Landess said the guidelines were not created for financial gain but were instituted, in part, to be consistent across the university, as Richter Library maintains similar policies.

“The policy is not meant to be punitive or a new revenue stream,” Landess said.

Landess and Rodriguez both said the number of late returns has decreased significantly and no students have returned equipment late by more than five days so far.

September 14, 2016


Amanda Herrera

Amanda Herrera can be reached via email at and through Twitter at @_AmandaHerrera.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

A heap of preseason accolades are being showered daily on the University of Miami football players. ...

James Jones, who starred at Hialeah American High School, the University of Miami and was a part of ...

A classic good news/bad news scenerio arose for Miami Hurricanes football at the recent Atlantic Coa ...

The University of Miami football players are not the only ones getting preseason accolades. The guys ...

Defending national champ Clemson led all Atlantic Coast Conference schools Wednesday with five playe ...

Before she fell in love with writing, University of Miami Master of Fine Arts creative writing stude ...

Gomez, an expert on human values and attitudes in post-Castro Cuba, will serve as interim director o ...

The University of Miami announced the appointment of Cindy Munro as the new dean of the School of Nu ...

Read the latest entries from UM students who are spending part or all of their summer visiting diffe ...

University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement harnesses technology to seek affordab ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.