Trash stash

Christina Stavale

Kent State, rental properties deal with the unwanted and forgotten

Three abandoned rooms in Koonce Hall hold all of the property left by students who lived in the residence halls. CAITLIN PRARAT | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Three rooms on Koonce Hall’s second floor remain occupied during the lonesome summer months – by cell phones, bikes, CDs and an assortment of other items left behind by last semester’s residence hall students.

The weekend after residence halls close, Kent State’s security team is in charge of clearing out all items residence hall students forgot and moving them to their current location.

Bags upon bags and multiple crates fill these rooms where the contents are organized by the residence hall in which the items were found.

But these are just some of the more common items.

“We’ve found porn before,” security manager Brian Hellwig said. “Pretty much anything you can think of has been left behind.”

Some people, he said, leave the entire contents of their rooms – television sets and computers included.

A passport even made the list of items along with a Christmas tree.

Hellwig said the university sends letters to students once they identify the owner of left behind items, giving them 30 days to claim them. Unclaimed items are donated to Alpha Industries in Ravenna.

Although students have the chance to claim their property, not packing up all those odds and ends could have consequences.

For example, one item on the list was a case of beer, found in Centennial Court A, a hall in which alcoholic beverages are forbidden. Hellwig said should the owner choose to return to the residence halls next year, the offense would be placed on his or her record.

Hellwig said the residence halls only charge removal fees for larger items such as couches or carpets.

Some rental properties, however, charge for other items as well. Dawn Marsh, assistant property manager of Whitehall East Townhomes in Kent, said they send lists to their residents months in advance stating how much they will be charged for the various items they might leave behind.

Nonetheless, she said about half of the residents leave things behind, ranging from large items such as couches, mirrors and dressers to smaller things.

“We even find makeup and curling irons,” she said.

Ryan Place Apartments in Kent, however, have less of a problem with residents leaving things behind. Property manager Chris Miller said they order a 20-yard trash bin at the end of July when most students move out.

“The bigger Dumpster helps us say, ‘Hey, throw away your trash,'” he said.

Miller and Marsh said their properties throw away most of students’ abandoned items, but Miller said if an item is in good condition, they donate it to charity.

Hellwig said residence hall students have until the end of the month to claim their left behind items.

Contact principal reporter Christina Stavale at

[email protected].