USG will not be offering summer storage to students this year, USG president Shawon Jackson ’15 announced in an email sent out to students on April 21.
“After considering the effort we’d have to put into the program and knowing that Princeton Student Agencies offers a similar service in a similar price range, we voted against continuing it,” Jackson said in an interview.
Aaron Ave ’15, the student director for Moving and Storage within PSA, said that the service PSA will offer is identical to what USG provided in the past.
“We’re just taking over [USG's] portion and adding it on to our existing services,” Ave said, adding that this is PSA’s first year offering summer box storage. “The old manager that I took over for went to USG and requested that we merge because there was competition.”
Communications between USG and PSA helped both organizations decide on this “merger consolidation,” Ave said.
“USG and Moving and Storage came to a mutual agreement that there was no value in two different organizations offering the same service,” Ave said. “This allows Moving and Storage to focus on improving our model as a result of the merger consolidation.”
Jackson explained that the USG Summer Storage Initiative was first started in order to provide a service to students who needed a place to store their belongings over the summer but could not afford higher rates. He said that USG communicated with PSA, and when PSA showed they offered similar prices, the Senate voted to discontinue their own program in the fall.
The decision was also made, Jackson said, with the rationale that, given the Senate’s other projects, it could use its energy and time elsewhere.
Deana Davoudiasl ’16, a former member of the Class of 2015, former Class of 2015 senator and the project leader for last year’s summer storage program, said USG thought summer storage was a well-run operation but, like Jackson, did not know if it could be continued.
“It was a big, big, big responsibility for USG,” Davoudiasl said. “We felt it was a really important service for students, but we were unsure of how sustainable it was for the USG to continue the service.”
Thomas Beauchemin ’17, who is considering using some form of on-campus summer storage, said he did not initially understand the USG decision.
“I was definitely confused at first,” Beauchemin said. “I don’t really know why they would remove this service that’s so important to students.”
However, he and Davoudiasl said they both feel that if the service is still being provided at a similar rate by PSA, this decision does not make a huge difference to the students.
Davoudiasl also said she believes the USG’s decision was the correct one and that it doesn’t necessarily matter who provides the service as long as it is of good quality for the students.
“It was a great project,” Davoudiasl said. “I loved working on it. It was a service students needed and wanted. I’m very glad that it’s going to be continued to be provided [by PSA].”
Ave said he hopes it is “easier for all the undergrads to know that all their summer storage would be serviced by one company.”
PSA rates for summer box storage this year are $11 for each box, which is exactly the same rate that USG offered last year. The boxes provided by the USG’s former Summer Storage Initiative and by the PSA Box Storage Initiative also have the same dimensions.