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NIT Round 2 at Lehigh Men's basketball Tournament Credit: Amanda Suarez , Amanda Suarez

One student’s garbage is another student’s furniture.

Instead of purchasing all new furniture and appliances for their dorms, some students choose to collect used or borrowed items piled up in hallways and outside of student houses during move-out.
While many students “shop” for abandoned items out of frugality or last-minute need, they also find that many of these items remain in good condition after a full year’s use.

Wharton junior Esther Huang said in an email that there is plenty to be gained by paying attention to the items left behind in residence halls, “even if you’re giving a cursory glance while waiting for the elevators on a high-rise floor.”

She explained that, during her sophomore year, she and her roommates were able to “snag” a working microwave, disco ball and even a coffee table.

In Wharton junior Alex Rattray’s Hamilton Court apartment, “a number of things that we have are found items,” Rattray said.

At this apartment building, there is a large center courtyard where some residents leave their used items during move-out. During his freshman year, Rattray hung around the courtyard after the final move-out date in May.

“I offered to help [some families] move their things out of the building,” he explained. “And they’d say, ‘Hey, take this couch.’”

He added that, by lending a hand to families during move-out, he was able to buy two mattresses for only $75.

Resident advisors like Engineering senior Nicholas McGill often find the most interesting objects in their residential halls.

McGill, who is the RA for the second floor of English College House, said he got his laser printer from a friend who had been planning to throw it out.

However, he noted that some students seek used items for academic, not aesthetic, purposes. For example, he said students in the Science and Technology Wing in Kings Court perused the Quad for thrown-out microwaves.

McGill said they were planning to repurpose the microwaves to build welding equipment.

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