By Robert Rios, Co-News Editor
The Associated Student, Inc. Clothes Closet has officially opened and it is ready to cover the basic needs of students looking for professional clothing.
Last semester, ASI began working on The Clothes Closet, a program in which students could select from donated clothes at no cost. ASI began asking for donations during the fall semester.
ASI’s Clothes Closet opened on Feb. 18 and is located on the fifth floor of the North Library in room LIB 5508. Students can walk in Tuesday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The purpose of the Clothes Closet is to offer students both free casual everyday wear as well as business attire for professional environments.
This service is available for everyone, including transgender and non-binary students looking for non-gender-affirming clothing.
While available to all, the closet is designed more for students who may be financially struggling and cannot readily afford to buy clothes.
“I wanted to implement a Basic Needs initiative to help and support the students on our campus,” Itzel Marin, the director of student services and creator of the Clothes Closet, told the Bulletin last semester.
“A large percentage of our students struggle to meet their basic needs. I wanted to implement a service that will help these students financially.” Marin said.
Students may take up to five items per semester. Once the person is done choosing, they will sign a form stating the clothing now belongs to them and they cannot return it for other clothing if unsatisfied.
Students will then be asked to take a survey asking for their name, gender identification and ethnicity. This is so ASI can keep track of what segments of the campus community use the service the most so it can provide better service.
Both student workers and recipients seem positive about the program.
“I’m just excited,” Ev Campos, a junior sociology major said. “ I love working with the community and I feel it’s my turn to give back,” Campos, said.
Many students lined up on opening day to see the available clothing.
“I like the idea that we as students have the opportunity to access free clothes,” Tam Trinh, a junior psychology student said. “This is a good resource for people who are in need of something because they can come by and get it.”
Itzel Morales, a junior criminal major, agreed.
“This is very important for students, professional clothing is expensive so when the school has an offering for free [clothing], you [have to] take advantage of it,” Morales said.
Along with clothes, other items students may take from the closet include condoms, tampons and other personal products donated by the Women’s Resource Center and ASI.
This location is not permanent ASI has only been given a guarantee that it can house the clothes in the library until summer.
Marin said she hopes an extension will be given to the closet.
Students and staff are encouraged to donate by taking clothes they wish to pass on to the ASI office in the LSU. For more information, contact Itzel Marin at firstname.lastname@example.org.