The move-in experience for Skyline residents who used Storage Squad this year has not been ideal, according to student interviews with The Brandeis Hoot. Storage Squad is an outside company that has partnered with Brandeis for the past few years and is in charge of moving students’ boxes out of and into their dorms at the end and the beginning of the school year.
Three weeks ago, the students moving into Skyline that used Storage Squad did not see their boxes in their new dorms as expected. The boxes were found stacked up in the Skyline Multi-Purpose Room (MPR), and the students had to move them to their rooms.
Skyline was used as the summer housing for those who took summer classes, and when the time came for Storage Squad to move fall residents’ boxes, the current summer residents’ belongings were not yet moved out of their dorms. Due to the summer housing still being occupied, Storage Squad had to leave the boxes out in the multi-purpose room, Kai Gallman ’24, a worker for Storage Squad, explained to The Hoot. With this change in plans, the fall residents were not informed that their belongings had not been moved where they had anticipated they would be, leading to disappointment and frustration.
The Hoot interviewed Elena Yang ’25 who lived in Skyline during summer and Dorothy Gu ’25 who currently lives in Skyline and used Storage Squad for move-in to understand their move-in experience and difficulties. Gallman also spoke with The Hoot on how things were operating on his side as an employee for Storage Squad.
As a summer resident of Skyline, Yang told The Hoot that she first spotted the Storage Squad staff in Skyline at the beginning of August, which was surprisingly early for fall move-in, she noted.
Yang also told The Hoot about an encounter with a Storage Squad staff member who entered her room when her roommate was asleep, without knocking. The staff member had boxes in his hands when he came in, but didn’t leave them in the room upon seeing her and her roommate still occupying the room, she explained. She later spotted the boxes out in the common area of Skyline in the next few days.
Some students who paid for Storage Squad’s services were left unsatisfied. Gu, one of the current Skyline residents, told The Hoot: “I initially thought Storage Squad lost my boxes, then my CA [Community Advisor] told me that they were all in the multi-purpose room.” Gu only had two boxes, so it wasn’t a large undertaking for her to move her belongings, she explained, but she wasn’t satisfied with the fact that she didn’t get the service she paid for.
“It did not mean that I deserved … poor service like this, as I paid extra money for room service already,” she said, “plus, I believe that a lot of folks are storing more than two boxes, and some of the boxes may be things like furniture. It was also not cheap to pay for room service for more amounts of boxes. It would be really hard to move these boxes upstairs when they are heavy.”
Gallman, a Storage Squad employee who also lived in Skyline during summer, told The Hoot his side of the story.
According to Gallman, the first date that Storage Squad was told to come to Skyline was Aug. 10, but the move-out date for summer housing was Aug. 12. “I was living in Skyline so I knew the tenth was going to be a problem because people were still having classes. On the tenth, knowing there was a problem, we had to load the truck and then unload the truck because we could not move the boxes into the rooms. Almost all the rooms had people living there. It was just a waste of time and money.”
The second time Storage Squad came in was Aug. 12, but most people were still staying in their rooms since they had not yet finished their classes, according to Gallman. Since Storage Squad could not leave the boxes in the occupied rooms, Gallman and his coworkers had no other choice than to leave the boxes in the multipurpose room on their second try.
Storage Squad did not come back to Skyline the following week; Gallman explained that he had to go to Ithaca that week to move boxes for students at Cornell University. He did not know how the executives at Storage Squad negotiated the move-in date for Skyline with the Department of Community Living (DCL), but stated that “[DCL] should know what they were doing [with the summer class schedule].”
Gallman posits that DCL should have done a better job coordinating the dates and taking over the responsibilities. When he later came to the DCL office as a Brandeis student, DCL staff directed him to Storage Squad. He also suggested that more work should be put into making the intended move-out date effective. A CA knocked on his door to remind him before the move-out date of Aug. 12, but he argued this was not enough enforcement if DCL really wanted to have everyone out by that time.
On the move-in day, Gallman received complaints from parents because he was wearing a Storage Squad uniform. Although he understood their anger, he still suggested they take their complaints to DCL, instead of putting the blame on a student worker from Storage Squad.
The Hoot also reached out to Julie Jette, the Assistant Vice President of Communications at Brandeis, who spoke on behalf of DCL. According to Jette, although Storage Squad was unable to deliver boxes to each individual room, boxes were stored securely in the Skyline Commons. During move-in time, DCL moved items directly to students’ rooms, except for early arrivals, because DCL was unable to free up staff at the time of their move-in to directly deliver the items. Early-arriving students were provided carts to use to move their belongings to their rooms.
However, according to the interviewees, students had to find their boxes among the piles in Skyline multi-purpose rooms. There were carts to borrow but no staff present to provide help to them. As shown above, students were unhappy at this miscommunication and disorganization which resulted in them not receiving the full services they paid for.