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UC Renews Summer Storage Program, Petitions to Stop CAMHS Late Fees

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The Undergraduate Council voted on Sunday to restore its summer storage program and to petition for the removal of the Harvard Counseling and Mental Health Services’ recent $25 fee for last-minute cancellations and missed appointments.

The first piece of legislation renewed its summer storage program with Five Star Movers for the 2021 year to financially assist up to 400 College students, allocating $32,000 in funding. Five thousand dollars will come from the UC’s own funds and the remaining $27,000 will come from remaining storage funds, faculty deans, and students benefiting from the program.

In 2019, the UC’s summer storage program accommodated up to 500 College students. In 2020, the College partnered with Olympia Moving and Storage to assist students with their rapid move-outs in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Storage can be a huge financial burden and source of stress to many students,” the policy states. “The UC is committed to improving financial accessibility on campus for students who are from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds.”

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Student applicants will be chosen based on their SEF eligibility, distance from the campus, and percentage of financial aid.

The program will allow students to store their belongings until the start of fall 2021 at a price of $10 per box, according to the legislation.

Social & Residential Life Chair David Y. Zhang ’23, Crimson Yard Representative Lisa R. Mathew ’24, Leverett House Representative John E. “Jake” Leary III '22 and First Year Committee Chair Esther J. Xiang ’23 were the primary sponsors for the program.

The UC will release a survey soon for students to sign up for the program and inform the UC of how much demand there is for storage aid.

The second piece of legislation — sponsored by Xiang, Shreya P. Nair ’24, Brooke L. Livingston ’23, Craig W. Mcfarland, Jr. ’24, and Anant P. Rajan ’24 — releases a statement and petition to remove the CAMHS late cancellation and no show fee.

Reinstituted on Jan. 1, the legislation claims the fee may disproportionately burden first-generation, low-income students and disincentivize those in need of professional mental health support.

“A missed appointment may be a symptom of an underlying issue which a student has no control over,” it reads. “Additionally, the start of the Spring semester has exacerbated problems of academic stress and mental health. For these reasons, a punitive measure is counterintuitive.”

The legislation was passed unanimously by a motion of unanimous consent.

—Staff writer Mayesha R. Soshi can be reached at mayesha.soshi@thecrimson.com.

—Staff writer Lucas J. Walsh can be reached at lucas.walsh@thecrimson.com.

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