When Caitlin E. Carey ’12 returned to her Lowell House room last Monday, in the midst of celebrating Senior Week and preparing to graduate this Thursday, she found that most of her possessions had disappeared.
Earlier that day she had received a call from a Dorm Crew captain, who said his crew had mistakenly discarded the belongings in her room, Carey said. He told her that after they had lunch, his crew would return the garbage bags containing her possessions to her room. But when Carey returned, she said that she found far less than had been taken.
“This really friggin’ sucks,” Carey said. “This is supposed to be my Senior Week, and instead all my stuff is gone and I have to buy everything again. I can’t hang out with my friends.”
Harvard Recycling and Waste Management had taken her bags from the Lowell donation area less than half an hour before she returned, Carey said. The waste management workers had seemingly forgotten the bags that remained.
“I think it’s possible that some of it made it to the Habitat donation station,” said Juliet N. Macchi ’12, a Dorm Crew head captain.
Carey said that a worker at the Habitat for Humanity collection center told her that she did not receive anything from the Lowell donation area. Carey added that she believes her belongings may have been looted by private individuals, a claim that Macchi dismissed as a rumor.
Carey has filed an insurance claim for her losses and received some money from Lowell’s Senior Common Room fund.
Following the incident, Carey said she learned that her suite had originally been recorded as being in a different entryway, then “fixed” to the suite next to hers, so that her real room was recorded vacant.
Because Carey is graduating early by activating her advanced standing option, all of her junior roommates had moved out. As a result, it appeared that her room had belonged to a student who left without taking anything.
Macchi said that Dorm Crew only cleans rooms that have been designated as “available” on their lists and even confers with the building manager if a room appears as if someone is still living there.
“Our goal is not to kick people out or take people’s stuff,” Macchi said. “We try to be as considerate as possible.”
Carey commended Dorm Crew’s handling of the situation and said that she could not place blame on anyone.
“I want to be mad at someone because all of my stuff is gone, but I can’t, because everyone was so nice to me,” Carey said. “It wasn’t just one person’s fault.”
Lowell Building Manager Robert Sammonds could not be reached for comment.
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