MIT mulls ending in-dorm summer storage

Undergraduates may have to find places other than their dorms to store their belongings over the summer.

A plan to rethink dorm storage has been in the works since at least early fall. Dormitory Council members were expected to finalize details with administrators Wednesday, but did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the final arrangement.

One reason for the move away from in-dorm storage was the cost borne by MIT in relocating and storing student belongings that were damaged by flooding in New House over the summer. Students’ stored items in the flooded areas had been quickly moved to Metropolitan Storage at no cost to residents.

“When New House flooded over the summer MIT had to pay a lot of money to replace people’s personal things that were damaged and they weren’t particularly happy about that,” DormCon representative Kate M. Farris ’17 said in an email to a Simmons mailing list in early November. “But there have been a number of smaller issues with in-dorm storage over the past few years that have also contributed to MIT wanting to phase it out.”

Changes to in-dorm storage would affect personal storage only, not storage which some dorms rent over the summer. Six undergraduate dorms currently supply summer storage; for students in the other dorms, Metropolitan Storage Warehouse is a popular choice.

However, there are upcoming plans to turn the Met Warehouse into a dorm, and the facility officially closes its doors on Saturday. Patrons have been asked to vacate their belongings by Jan. 29.

The issue of summer dorm storage was broached at a DormCon meeting on Oct. 22. At the time, concerns were raised that removing in-dorm storage and losing access to the Met would leave students with few remaining options.

Amanda Lee ’18, Baker House representative, asked in the meeting: “Without in-dorm storage and the Metropolitan Warehouse closing, where are we supposed to store things?”

“We have stressed this in our meeting with Humphries [sic], but he said they’re looking into this, yes,” DormCon Vice President Caitlin Heber ’16 said, according to meeting minutes.

“We should be aware though that this might be something they won’t compromise on,” she said.

More recently, on Jan. 21, DormCon President Yonadav Shavit ’16 said that “DSL intends to provide us with a default (opt-in) storage solution” on a thread on

He said further that “it’s almost certain that it will not be free,” but noted that “the plan has not yet been nailed down.”

“Our target range would be close to the current prices for the Metropolitan Warehouse, i.e. ~$300 for the amount of stuff one could fit in a 5’ by 7’ room,” he wrote. “But that is tentative and subject to change.”

Shavit and Heber were expected to finalize details with administrators Wednesday.

Anonymous about 7 years ago

The good thing about being a college administrator is that you can unilaterally make things worse for students to make your own life easier, and 4 years later nobody will have any idea what they're missing.

Yo Shavit about 7 years ago

This decision is not being made to make admin's lives easier. In fact, it is not being made by DSL at all. It's a policy handed down by MIT's insurance company.


James Herms '87 about 7 years ago

Shavit: Does MIT's insurance company have such disproportionately strong economic power that it can simply dictate terms so unfavorable to MIT?

Can you ask MIT to demand better terms? If you don't, you risk weakening its bargaining position. Ask Course 15 for help.