Scripps to end dorm furniture removal program

Pictured is the interior of a students college dorm. A small window looks out on some foliage. There is a double bed in the left corner of the room; it has a white duvet, white pillows, a blue blanket and a blue stuffed animal whale on it. In the right corner of the room is a dark mahogany desk and chair. The room has white walls and a dark mahogany wood floor.
Scripps College is eliminating the option for students to request furniture removal from their dorm rooms. Pictured here is Valarie Jackman’s SC ’21 room who has removed almost all of the provided furniture for a less cluttered feeling. (Eloise Shields • The Student Life)

Scripps College will no longer permit students to remove college-issued furniture from on-campus residence halls, houses and apartments starting May 20, according to an email sent to students from Brenda Ice, the director of campus life.

The decision was made to “ensure fire safety, maintain cleanliness and prevent exposure to pests in student rooms,” Ice told students.

In a separate email to TSL, Ice said the new policy requires college-issued furniture to remain in rooms and suites for the entirety of the school year.

“The previous policy did not accurately reflect today’s growing needs in a way that allowed the college to create the most consistent and safe experience for students,” Ice said. The decision was made by the offices of the Dean of Students, Business Affairs, Residential Life and Facilities, she added.

Scripps’ staff has spent hundreds of hours removing and replacing furniture, Ice said. She expects the policy change will result in an expedited move-in process, less cleaning upon moving out and a reduced burden on the college’s limited storage capacity.

At the end of the fall semester, Scripps temporarily suspended its furniture removal program because the college couldn’t process any more furniture removal requests due to a lack of storage space, Ice said. The facilities staff was able to free up space before the start of the spring semester and furniture removal requests resumed in January.

The furniture removal option has been popular among Scripps students, and some expressed irritation over the policy change.“I am frustrated because I would hope that our administrators could see that … the furniture removal process was so often utilized, [and] therefore it is a benefit to students and something they take advantage of,” Tyler Benedict SC ’21 said via email.

This year, Benedict lives alone in a room meant for two people, and was able to have the extra furniture removed from her room via a maintenance request.

“I felt so lucky to have so much space in my new room, and [to] create a new organization system that was less cramped,” she said. With the new policy though, Benedict thinks students will simply dump unwanted furniture in common areas.

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Rein Irving SC ’20 found herself in a similar situation upon returning from abroad.

She said via email that she was placed in a room with twice as much furniture as she needed and tried to get some of it removed. However, Scripps wouldn’t remove any of it until students “rallied together to push Scripps to provide storage for Scripps furniture,” Irving said.

While the policy makes life easier for Scripps’ maintenance workers, she said, it inconveniences students.

“I’m worried my room will be cramped because Scripps provides pieces of furniture I don’t need,” Irving said.

She thinks students will move excess furniture out of their rooms anyway and pay to put it in private storage — which would violate the new policy.

“They shouldn’t change the policy for students who already own furniture and didn’t anticipate a policy change, and now have to pay to move Scripps [items] into storage,” she said.

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