Students at Haverford College, in Haverford, Pennsylvania,were required to remove all their possessions from storage over spring break this year. Spring break at Haverford began on March 5 and ended on March 15. In addition, Haverford is inaugurating a new policy in which storage space is not offered to students who live within 150 miles of campus.
Although student residence halls at Haverford were kept open over spring break, the college made the decision to clean out storage areas during the break, warning students that any items left in storage would be donated to charity.
Unhappy students discussed the decision with Marianne Smith, Haverford’s director of residence life, at a Feb. 24 meeting. Smith explained that Haverford’s decision was based on flooding that has occurred for several summers in a row in the basements of some student apartments. She said that the college needed to immediately reevaluate its storage facilities, as well as get rid of old items abandoned by past students and bring the storage areas into compliance with fire codes. Students at the meeting protested the speed with which the college had reached its decision, and complained about the lack of storage for students whose permanent homes are far away but still lie within the 150-mile limit. For example, Heather Lewis, HC’11, commented that she lives within the 150-mile limit but does not own a vehicle to use in transporting her furniture. Haverford has a policy against allowing moving and storage companies to pick up or drop off portable storage containers on campus, but Smith said that the college might coordinate with a local company to make other options available to students.
Haverford plans to make limited storage space available to students based on a lottery, but Dorothy Labe, the college’s director of non-academic scheduling and summer programs, t
old students the
y should start considering the likelihood that they will have to purchase commercial storage space. She informed the group that she pays for storage space for her own daughter, at the rate of $50 per month.
In response to student concerns, Smith sent out an email the day after the meeting, advising students that the deadline to move items out of storage had been extended from March 1, the original deadline, to March 5, the first day of spring break.