To the Editor:
I was very surprised to read the article, “Branford book thief breaks into storage” (9/3). I am a junior in Branford College and returned in August to find all of my six stored boxes ripped open, beaten up and thrown back together. My clothes were wrinkled and moldy. Many of my belongings were scattered around the storage room floor. My high school yearbook was gone. The hardest hit, however, was my college library of books. I stored 57 books this summer and 41 of them were stolen. Those 41 books totaled $650 in value, according to Amazon.com which I used to research my police report. The article that appeared in the Yale Daily News completely undermined the situation.
First, the students you interviewed were those Branfordians who had been only mildly hit by the burglary. Second, a little more research into the situation would have found Branford students returning to an unsettling and unsightly storage room, one which was promised by Branford to be secure. I am especially perplexed as to why storage is such a complicated process with so many rules, when the rooms are not so secure after all. It is also particularly difficult for those students who do not live nearby and must store many of their belongings at Yale. The number of books and the amount of money that I have lost is nothing in comparison to the distress I feel. My constitutional law case book with my carefully coordinated notes and color-coding is gone. My copy of Wideman’s “The Cattle Killing” with notes in the margin recording the brilliant ideas shared by Wideman himself when he visited my African American literature class is gone.
There is something exhilarating about collecting a college library, a mix of philosophy, literature, history and political science, and rereading the ideas of your professors, friends, mentors and yourself. These books are irreplaceable and will be far more important to me in my adult life than my Yale baseball cap or memories of Saturday nights. I hope Yale students never experience the loss of their academic treasures again.
Sarah Weiss ’05
September 5, 2003