New restrictions on what items students can store on campus this summer have sparked complaints across campus.
Students will still be able to store one couch per suite and one chair per student in their common rooms over the summer, but they can no longer leave bookshelves, lamps, rugs or framed pictures, according to the revised Undergraduate Regulations announced Tuesday. Administrators interviewed said the restrictions will ease the burden of custodial workers who prepare rooms for summer occupants, but Yale College Council leaders —as well as six of seven other students interviewed —said they hope administrators reconsider the change.
“The response has been overwhelming against these new policies,” YCC Vice President Omar Njie ’13said. “The changes will undoubtedly impact students, especially those who live far away and cannot easily take large items home for the summer.”
Njie said chairs of residential college councils, as well as other students, have complained to the YCC about the new rules, mostly because students will now have to pay for off-campus storage. He added changes will also increase inequalities between residential colleges, because some colleges have morebasement and attic spaceto hold student belongings.
The Yale College Council has already begun reaching out to administrators in hopes of reversing or mitigating the changes, YCC President Brandon Levin ’13 said. The YCC could potentially expand the Summer Storage program it established last year, which allowed students to keep their belongings in trailers parked on Yale’s West Campus for a low fee, Njie said.
The popularity of this program, along with that of last year’s new YCC Trash to Treasure initiative, which allowed students to buy items others would have thrown away,shows that students need more storage space, Njie said. Demand for space in the two trailers YCC provided for the two new initiatives last year far exceeded the amount of space available, he said.
Administrators said they were aware of students’ complaints and are willing to look for alternative arrangements, but they said they have no immediate solutions.
“We’re certainly aware there’s an issue here, but I don’t know what the solution is, to be honest,” Council of Masters Chair Frank Keil said.
John Meeske, associate dean for student organizations and physical resources, added that Yale is more generous in its summer storage than many of its peer institutions.
Still, administrators said the previous storage regulations created difficulties for custodial workers over the summerthat warranted a change.
“[Custodial services] need to prepare rooms for summer occupants, so naturally the more things that are in the rooms that they have to work around, the more difficult it is for them,” Meeske said. He added the new rules were approved a few months ago by the Council of Mastersafter custodial workers requested the change.
Keil said the University does not have as much space to hold furniture as it had in the past. Larger numbers of summer occupants, including Yale Summer Session students as well as participants in various conferences, are now livingin residential colleges, he said. He added that when the residential colleges were renovated, former storage rooms began to be used for other purposes.
Two master’s aides in Pierson College affirmed that the extra furniture left in rooms over the summer made painting and repairs a hassle for maintenance workers.
But six of seven students interviewed said they were upset by the changes, adding that they found campus summer storage inadequate even before the new restrictions were announced.Emily Graham ’13 said she and her suitemates spent “a ridiculous amount of money” to store extra furniture after her freshman year.
“I think a lot of people beg their friends off-campus to store their stuff, but that has its own problems,” she added. “I still have a box of clothes in my friend’s apartment on Crown Street.”
Nearly 150 students participated in YCC Summer Storage, and over 200 Trash to Treasure items were available at the beginning of the year, all of which were reserved within an hour of the campus-wide email announcing that items were available.