At the end of every spring semester, residential students at Vanguard University move out of their dorms and into wherever they will be living over the summer. Over the school year, VU students living in the dorms tend to accumulate more material goods than they moved in with. For this reason, students moving out of their dorms who can’t bring everything with them tend to throw away a lot of their things at the end of the year, even valuable items. One anonymous VU student says, “I’ve seen Vanguard students throw away all kinds of stuff at the end of the year… People will leave behind things like TVs, blenders, and furniture that must have cost a lot of money.”
There are likely multiple reasons why some students throw away so many things at the end of the year. Students in a rush to move out after finals, students moving out without any help, and students without enough room for their things may be unable to take everything with them.
Unfortunately, this dorm clean out results in needless waste. Some students may toss out any unwanted items, but just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean some else won’t. So, what solution can we offer students who need to get rid of material excess in a hurry, that doesn’t end in a wasteful trip to the landfill?
One option is to donate unwanted items. Unfortunately, students usually don’t have time during finals to make trips to secondhand stores or food closets. A solution for this is that donation drop off areas could be set up on campus the week before and the week during finals. These could be organized into categories such as clothing, electronic devices, furniture, unopened food, and more. Students could be free to take items they would like or need from these areas. After finals week, the remaining items could be donated to places like Goodwill.
Another solution for students who do not want to get rid of their things, but only do so out of necessity, could be for Vanguard to provide on-campus storage for the things students must leave behind, or help them find an outside storage unit during the busyness of finals week. Vanguard’s goal during move out should be to help students move out smoothly, as well as help those in need.