Storage space set to shrink

Every summer Yale students leave their residential colleges to travel the world. Starting this year, more of their possessions will leave with them.

Changes in Yale’s summer storage policy, announced yesterday in an e-mail to all students in Yale College, will allow students to store an assortment of furniture and valuables and a maximum of six 18-by-18-by-24-inch boxes.

Although previously there was no specified limit on the number of boxes and other loose items, most furniture regulations remain the same — but students cannot store refrigerators. Individual colleges may impose further restrictions.

Master’s offices have a list of private companies that rent out storage space; these spaces are located between three and 16 miles from campus, and the companies charge between $40 and $64 per month for a 5-foot-by-5-foot space.

So Yeon Paek ’05 of Saybrook College said the new policy is a hindrance.

“I’m from Texas and I have all this stuff with me that I would either have to ship back or find outside storage space,” Paek said. “This is particularly annoying for people who live far away.”

But Steven Nam ’05 said he believes the administration would not have enacted the changes if they were not necessary.

“They’re not purposefully trying to annoy, so I’m willing to abide by them,” Nam said of the rules.

The current availability of storage space and the impact of the newly approved reforms varies depending on the residential college. Saybrook College Master Mary Miller said recent renovations affected the amount of space available in her college.

“We have the largest number of students with the least amount of basement space,” Miller said. “And with the renovations, we were mandated to meet many codes. We have many rooms — trash rooms, custodial rooms, locker rooms for staff — that were not there before. This leaves us with very little programmatic and storage space.”

Ezra Stiles College Master Paul Fry said Stiles residents will not see many changes this summer.

“Our policy [in Stiles] coincides almost exactly with the [new] policy, so we do not have to make many changes at all,” Fry said.

According to the new storage policy, each returning student is allowed to leave “one chair, one cleaned and rolled rug, one empty freestanding bookcase, and two framed pictures in his or her room.” In addition, each suite is allowed to leave one floor lamp and one couch.

The Council of Masters cited several reasons for approving the changes, including renovations, the growing amount of property that is being put into storage in residential colleges, and an increase in the cases of theft or damage to student possessions left in storage.

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