Quincy will be the first House not to offer its students free, on-campus storage after undergoing renovations as part of the House renewal project, prompting some residents to voice concerns over the financial burden the policy change might impose on students.
According to Associate Dean of Student Life William Cooper ’94, the efforts of the House renewal project to increase the amount of common space in each House took priority over storage. Quincy’s recently renovated Stone Hall, for example, once housed summer storage in its basement. Today, however, it features more common space that has replaced the storage facilities.
Cooper said administrators wanted these spaces to be available for use during the summer, and, as a result, the College will no longer provide students on-site storage after each House has been renovated. Residents of Leverett House will also lose on-site summer storage in 2015 after McKinlock Hall has undergone renovation.
According to Cooper, administrators decided that the College would furnish suite common rooms after the renovations so that students would therefore not need to purchase their own furniture, alleviating the need for storage space. Quincy residents were first informed that they would not receive storage space in an email from Quincy House Masters Lee and Deborah J. Gehrke at the end of 2011.
The House renewal project had fully funded off-campus storage available for Quincy residents through the outside service Collegeboxes during the past two summers while the House was undergoing renovation. Harvard will do the same for students whose Houses are renewed in the future.
But since the renovations on Quincy House concluded last year, residents can no longer expect Harvard to fully fund outside storage.
However, according to Cooper, Harvard has an agreement with Collegeboxes so that Quincy residents may pay for summer storage through the service at a discounted rate going forward. Cooper said that administrators could not find other on-campus spaces that would “logistically work” for summer storage.
Although Cooper maintained that administrators communicated the change thoroughly with students, some Quincy residents disagreed. Quincy House Committee Co-Chair Chanel E. Washington ’15 said that she thought the change was not clearly explained to Quincy residents.
Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde acknowledged that the change might be “an inconvenience at first” for students, but defended the policy nonetheless. “We recognize that this is a loss for students, but it’s a net gain, and it’s one that will even out over time as each House undergoes renovation,” Cooper added.
Quincy resident Brett M. Biebelberg ’16 agreed that students would benefit from an increase in common spaces, even at the cost of summer storage. Still, Biebelberg, who represents Quincy on the Undergraduate Council, noted that some UC representatives “have expressed concern about the financial burden posed by storage now resting on the shoulders of individual students.”
Washington said that Quincy HoCo, which previously budgeted about $1,000 for a “HoCo gift,” is looking into the possibility of using that money to fund a storage unit for students at U-Haul or another similar service.
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