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UC Votes to Offer Low-Cost Winter and Summer Storage Program

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The Harvard Undergraduate Council passed legislation on Sunday to sponsor a low-cost winter and summer storage program for students currently living on campus.

The legislation will allocate $30,000 for winter and summer storage in a partnership with Five Star Movers, a Boston-area moving company.

The UC will select 500 students for the program, with preference to those eligible for the Student Events Fund, a College initiative that provides event tickets to undergraduates with demonstrated financial need, as well as based on distance from campus and on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Sunday’s legislation comes after what Council members described as a successful partnership with the company in summer 2019, during which the UC rented a warehouse to store the belongings of 500 students for $15 each.

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Following students’ departure from campus in March, the College partnered with Olympia Moving and Storage, offering all students receiving financial aid a $200 subsidy for storing their belongings. Many other students, though, had to pay hundreds of dollars to store their belongings.

Five Star Movers offers a better and cheaper option in many respects, according to representatives sponsoring the legislation.

For instance, they said that the UC’s experience in 2019 with Five Star Movers was “incredibly reliable,” in contrast to the complaints from students of financial and logistical hurdles faced in retrieving their belongings from Olympia. They acknowledged some drawbacks, though, such as lack of insurance options and inability to return storage boxes directly to students’ dorm rooms.

For the new program, elected students will pay $5 per box for the winter storage program, which will be reserved for students likely to return for the Spring 2021 semester. Students planning to store their belongings until fall 2021 will pay $10 per box, according to the legislation.

Dropoff for UC storage will take place on Nov. 18, four days before students leave campus for the Thanksgiving holiday and the remainder of the semester. Students returning to campus for the Spring 2021 semester will pick up their boxes on Jan. 23.

The UC hopes that costs for students living on campus next semester will be lower since many will likely be seniors, who will not be in need of summer storage.

In response to concerns that Harvard has not yet finalized its plans for the Spring 2021 semester, sponsors of the legislation assured students that the program’s timeline is adjustable.

“Five Star Movers has proven to be a flexible and understanding partner and they have assured us they will work with us, no matter the situation,” Swanson, Zhang, and Harris wrote.

“Students who are on campus in the fall but do not yet know whether they will return in the spring should err on the side of caution, and store their items until the summer,” they added.

—Staff writer Natalie L. Kahn can be reached at natalie.kahn@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter at @natalielkahn.

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