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Humanities departments collect professional clothes to support free student resource

Christine Lasek-White

Over 65 items donated to Student Government Association Clothing Closet

Eight humanities departments within the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia participated in an October clothing drive to support the efforts of the Student Government Association Clothing Closet. The SGA Clothing Closet was founded in 2019 and provides one free professional outfit per student per year, no matter their major, when supplies allow.

Staffed by Student Government members and volunteers, the SGA Clothing Closet is sourced almost entirely by clothing donations. The humanities clothing drive was organized by Christine Lasek-White, English department faculty member and the Internship and Career Coordinator for the Humanities for Franklin College. The departments of Comparative Literature and Intercultural Studies, English, Germanic & Slavic Studies, History, Linguistics, Philosophy, Religion, and Romance Languages participated in the effort.

“I work with humanities students preparing for the job market and I know how important a professional outfit is—for attending career fairs, for job shadowing opportunities, and for interviewing.  But not every student is in the financial position to buy themselves expensive professional clothing,” Lasek-White said. “When I learned about the SGA Clothing Closet, I knew that I not only wanted to tell students about this great resource, but I wanted to help that resource reach as many students as possible.”  

During the month of October, donation boxes in Gilbert Hall, Joseph E. Brown Hall, LeConte Hall, Park Hall, and Peabody Hall collected gently-used blazers, slacks, skirts, blouses, collared shirts, cardigans, and ties. After the donations were tallied by the SGA Clothing Closet staff, over 65 items had been added to their shelves.

“A major in the humanities prepares students with the skills and experiences necessary to excel in a variety of professional environments,” Lasek-White said. “But I didn’t anticipate how enthusiastically the humanities department heads would support a clothing drive. This effort wouldn’t have been successful without that support.”

“The humanities faculty at UGA are more than outstanding scholars; they are also deeply committed to the success of their students,” said Jamie Kreiner, Senior Associate Dean in the Franklin College. “That has long been clear in their classrooms and office hours — and it’s clear from this clothing drive, too!”

The SGA Clothing Closet accepts donations year-round, either mailed in to, or dropped off at, the Engagement Leadership and Service Front Desk, room 102 at the Tate Student Center, Athens, GA 30602. They especially need professional clothing items in men’s and women’s sizes XS-Medium, as well as new professional shoes.  Donations to the organization are tax deductible.

Image: Photo by Andrew Tucker/UGA

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