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Storage a problem at Mills

Students who live on campus are inconvenienced by a joint decision made last spring by housing management and dining services and the Office of Student Life to eliminate all storage facilities, some students said.

Some students are storing their belongings in off campus storage units which are expensive, difficult to access, unsafe and unclean, students reported.

Others, who can’t afford storage units or don’t have the transportation to access them, are cramped in their rooms with their belongings taking up most of the space.

Still others are illegally storing their belongings in unoccupied rooms, utility closets, or unnoticed corners of their dorm, with the constant fear of confiscation, which, according to

Moire Bruin, dean of students for residential and commuter life, is the standard procedure when belongings being illegally stored on campus are discovered by housing management and dining services.

Seniors Kathie Kern and Kristie Kern, have had numerous problems getting settled into the semester because of storage issues.

“This has been a huge hassle for us because we don’t have a car,” said Kathie Kern. “We put our stuff in a storage shed in Oakland at the end of last semester but had no way of transporting it back to campus when school started. We couldn’t even rent a U-haul because so many other students in the area were returning to school and had already rented them,” she said.

It was over three weeks into the semester before any U-hauls were available and they had to borrow blankets, pillows, sheets, and towels from housekeeping until they could finally move their belongings into their rooms, according to the Kerns.

Senior Timanna Bennett, an art student, also paid for off campus storage over the summer and some of her paintings were dirty and damaged upon retrieving them.

“If Mills wants resumers and other students with untraditional backgrounds to attend this school then they need to provide for them a place to put their stuff because many of us don’t have an extra house and an extra car.”

The decision to eliminate storage on campus was not made lightly, according to Bruin.

“We realize the financial burden it places on students, but our liability was too high. Students’ belongings were getting stolen and broken and some were asking for financial reimbursement. We simply were not offering students an adequate service,” said Bruin.

Bruin said that residential and commuter life was prepared for a much larger reaction from the students than they received regarding the elimination of storage.

“There were a few isolated incidences that were brought to our attention,” said Bruin, “but we felt that our side of the issue was being understood or heard.”

Bruin added that most colleges do not offer students storage services.

Knowing the problems with both on and off campus storage, many students said they are still willing to take the risk of placing their belongings in on-campus storage facilities, even for a small fee.

“Because year long housing is not an option here at Mills, (on-campus) storage is vital,” said Timanna Bennett.

“If the on campus storage facilities are inadequate,” said Kristie Kern, “then why can’t Mills clean them up and provide us with a service that is adequate?”