Petition to allow students to gather their belongings garners more than 1,100 signees

A petition calling on officials to allow students to move their own belongings out of their residence halls has garnered more than 1,100 signatures in two days.

The petition, which started circulating minutes after officials announced Friday that a professional moving company will pack and store students’ belongings until the fall at no cost, calls the announcement “absurd” and demands that students be allowed to personally move out of their residence halls. Officials have restricted access to residence halls as classes transition online for the remainder of the semester.

“This also highlights the tremendous failure of leadership and planning by President LeBlanc,” the petition states. “GW is one of the only universities that did not offer a move-out time. GIVE STUDENTS THE RIGHT TO MOVE OUT THEMSELVES!”

Lloyd Woods, the creator of the petition, did not return a request for comment.

The petition claims students have the right to personally move out their belongings. The Residents’ Bill of Rights and the Housing License Agreement do not explicitly prohibit third-parties from packing students’ belongings.

The petition also claims that officials previously committed that students would be able to move out of their dorms

In an announcement earlier this month stating that classes would move online for at least two weeks after spring break, officials encouraged students to bring personal necessities or resources “essential” for remote academic coursework in case students couldn’t return to campus for a “substantial period of time.” LeBlanc said in an email one week later that officials were “determining” a plan for students to retrieve belongings left in residence halls “sometime after April 5.”

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Cissy Petty wrote in a Facebook post Sunday that she had received 400 emails from parents and students who are “disappointed” and “downright angry” about the announcement.

“For the communication and housing team that bear the brunt and actually have student welfare at heart,” she wrote in the post. “For our medical and nursing faculty and staff that are spending exhaustive hours assisting in so many ways. I cried for no one reason yesterday; I cried for every reason.”

University spokeswoman Crystal Nosal did not immediately return a request for comment.

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