Over half of all Swarthmore students hail from regions outside of the Middle Atlantic. These students hail from distant nations like New Zealand, and far out states like California. At the end of each summer, these students return to Swarthmore as they settle back into classes, extracurriculars, and their dorms. However, as of this past fall, the college no longer provides dorm storage for any students. Over the past two years, almost all on-campus storage options have been phased out, and the only currently available option is storing three boxes through secure storage. As the website states, “[Swarthmore] will continue to prioritize students who are international students, from the West Coast, are studying abroad in the Fall, and/or have extenuating circumstances which make off-campus storage not an option.” While we at the Phoenix do not dispute that these students ought to be given priority, we feel that storage should be widely available and guaranteed to any student who may require it.
In addition, furniture and larger pieces of room decor such as floor lamps or rugs, which are indubitably the hardest to transport from place to place, are prohibited from being stored on campus. Popular items such as refrigerators and bicycles also cannot be stored, further burdening students. While private storage options are certainly available, these may not be cost-effective or affordable for all students. It is perhaps concerning that as we build an Inn to host prospective students and their families, we do not find it important to ensure that we have sufficient space to take care of current (and tuition-paying) students. It is incredibly cumbersome to have to transport all belongings to a private storage space at the end of every year, subjecting students to unnecessary costs, discomfort, and effort. It is the responsibility of the school to promote a smooth transition in and out of the school year, and given widespread discontent when it comes to the nuisance that is the storage situation, we at the Phoenix can only hope the college reconsiders and expands the options available to students.