JK Moving, Storage Squad to pack student belongings over video chat

Media Credit: Ari Golub | Staff Photographer

Two moving companies will pack students' belongings between March 30 and April 5.

GW is enlisting JK Moving and Storage Squad to use video chat to identify and pack students’ belongings, which will be stored until the next academic year, according to an email officials sent Sunday.

Officials announced Friday that residents in District and International houses and Munson and Thurston halls will be the first wave of students to participate in the unprecedented packing system, which will take place between March 30 and April 5. Students will work with the moving companies via video chat to distinguish which belongings are theirs and tag essential items like credit cards, prescriptions and passports that will be immediately shipped to students, according to the email.

“Please know that we are doing everything we can to protect your health and safety and store your belongings securely,” the email stated. “While we know the situation is not ideal, the steps we are taking are in direct response to the social distancing and stay at home guidelines in the District of Columbia and elsewhere across the nation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Moving company employees will box up textbooks and other academic materials left in each room, and GW Mail and Package Services will retrieve and mail the boxes after contacting students for payment details. Staff will return books rented from the campus store or a GW library, according to the email.

Opened food items, aerosol cans and all liquid items – like drinks, laundry detergents and soaps – will not be stored. The moving companies will not pack live plants, dirty dishes and flammable items like candles, but will pack items like clothes, bedding, furniture and cooking appliances, according to the email.

“We are trying to do the best we can under extraordinary circumstances to get our students the items that are absolutely necessary,” the email states.

Officials are waiving most charges for damages to “focus on limiting any financial hardships through this process,” according to the email.

Students whose rooms contain prohibited items like weapons, fireworks or illegal drugs should complete the Reporting Prohibited Items Form. Prohibited items will be handed over to GWPD, and students whose rooms contain prohibited items but who do not fill out the form may be subject to “additional policy violations,” according to the email.

“We understand that some of you may be concerned about acknowledging such items,” the email stated. “We value your help in maintaining a safe and secure environment, so advance disclosure of such items will be an important mitigating factor.”

Students might be able to retrieve packed belongings prior to the start of the next academic year if the COVID-19 pandemic allows, the email states. Officials are considering how to ship belongings to residents at a later date, particularly for students who are graduating in May, live far away or are studying abroad next academic year, according to the email.

“We realize that for some of you who travel a great distance, traveling back to campus may not be an option,” the email states. “Your items will remain stored until you return to campus.”

Officials announced earlier this month that students were required to move out of their residence halls by March 20 unless they qualified for six exemptions after GW moved all classes online for the rest of the semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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