When Australian exchange student James Tate tried to move back into his Ivory Tower room this semester, he was surprised that he no longer had access to the building.
He was even more surprised when he found out the belongings he left behind during break were missing.
“You never want to come over to another country and have all your stuff gone,” said Tate, a junior from the University of Melbourne.
Tate is now seeking $4,500 from GW to compensate for clothes, tennis rackets, shoes and kitchen supplies that he had left in his room for the month-long break. His belongings were thrown out during a sweep of the building in December after the University incorrectly recorded that he was not returning to campus last month.
Three weeks later, Tate and his advisers from the Office of Study Abroad are still negotiating with officials from the Office of Risk Management, which he said has only offered him $3,200.
“I feel that it’s just pathetic on the part of the University, especially what they’ve put me through over the last few weeks,” he said.
Within two days, he was reassigned to a double in Ivory. While GW helped compensate for the thousands of extra dollars for the more expensive room, Tate said he still thinks the University should compensate him for all he went through for losing his personal items.
University spokesman Dave Andrews said Tate had mistakenly been assigned to the room for a single semester and that the risk management office is “covering the claim for the items.”
The kitchen and his wardrobe were both completely full, and the desk was filled with supplies, most of which he had bought in the U.S. for his time at GW, he said.
“I just feel like there should be some type of preliminary warning or something that should be communicated to students, an email or a phone call even,” Tate said. “I just don’t want this to happen to anyone ever again.”