Address the economic burdens imposed on students by the new UofC Storage Policy
This petition made change with 406 supporters!
The storage policy change by College Housing and Residential Services could not come at a more pressing time. As students are preparing for the end of the academic year, a significantly reduced summer storage policy has been implemented by College Housing. This abrupt change came with little regard to the time, effort, and money students would need to prepare for the new policy amidst a stressful time of impending finals.
Given that this change had not been widely publicized until the beginning of 8th week of Spring Quarter, it creates a significant difficulty for low-income students who must now find a way to store their items over the summer. In announcing a new policy that creates an additional cost for students without providing any advance notice, College Housing creates a barrier for economically diverse students at this institution. Furthermore, this policy was changed without any indication that Housing and Residential Services have communicated with College Aid to make adjustments to accommodate students on financial aid, which shows that not enough consideration was given over the topic of the financial burden of a change in policy.
The storage policy used to be 5 boxes of any size. Wendt House previously held a box sale fundraiser where they sold 20”x20”x20” boxes to students to store items. Therefore, students could rely on having 40,000 sq in. or more to store their items, and they could store items of irregular sizes. The new policy limits students to a max of 11,492 sq in. This is a 71% space reduction in comparison to previous years. College Housing indicated to us in a phone call that the expectation is that the majority of a student’s belongings should be stored outside of housing. In their defense, there are storage options off-campus, but they are limited and very expensive. A 5 ft x 5 ft storage unit at Hyde Park Self-Storage costs $75 a month, not including a security deposit or other fees, and Collegeboxes costs $45 to $60 per box over the summer. These are not affordable options for students on financial aid. Furthermore, with items such as televisions, mini fridges, and plastic storage bins being banned and now must be stored off-campus, this policy change creates a significant burden to the great number of students who live more than 150 miles from campus that rely on the previously free storage services provided by the University. In making these changes without advance notice, this is now an official cost associated with attending this university, and we hold the University responsible for accommodating students who live more than 150 miles from campus and/or those who rely on financial aid.
If students were notified of such a change prior to move-in, we would be unhappy but more able to comply with such a change. With less than three weeks left in the academic year, it creates a financial and emotional burden on hundreds of residents. Stressing about moving belongings to an off-campus storage facility during finals weeks detracts from students being able to study during an already stressful time. With the lack of consideration by Housing and Residential Services to the needs of all students and especially those on financial aid, it is necessary that we respond negatively to such a major decision. The university should be held accountable for failing to announce possible changes to students. Therefore, we ask that the University immediately do one of the following:
- Increase the financial aid package to students immediately to account for the additional cost of living in housing that should now go into the cost of attendance
- Give Resident Heads money to rent storage space for their House, and the trucks required to move students’ boxes there
Furthermore, in the interest of current and future students who rely on financial aid, we also ask that the University considers doing the following:
- Solidify the storage policies prior to the move-in date of the academic year, and then correctly and clearly notify all students of this policy
- Slightly increase the financial aid package to students who live more than 150 miles from campus and must store their belongings in the Chicago area
- Implement a storage program specifically for students who live more than 150 miles from campus and/or those who rely on financial aid
Socioeconomic Diversity Alliance (SDA)
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