By Sydney Hakes
Campus Housing and Community Living opened a campus thrift stop in August 2021 to provide cheap and accessible goods to students, while also being a location for students to donate items throughout the semester.
The stop is located on the first floor of Adirondack Hall, and is open periodically throughout the semester.
Students and faculty can purchase a ticket for $5 on the SUNY Plattsburgh website, or in person at the stop. With a ticket, the shopper can take however many items they want from the shop, with a limitation on TVs and fridges.
The idea was created by Jim Sherman, the director of Campus Housing and Community Living. New York state mandated that college students reuse and recycle leftover goods and materials to prevent them from being added to landfills.
“Students leave stuff behind all of the time,” Sherman said. “The semester ends and they don’t need a lot of their things, or don’t have the ability to take it all with them. We did a rummage sale for years, but students would often have left campus by then and there were always so many things still sitting here.”
The stop gives students a place to drop off things they may not need at any time in the semester. Donations can be brought to the Campus Living office or be inquired about with the office or over email.
Besides being a place to donate unwanted goods, the stop provides access to items many students need but may not be able to afford. Items found in the stop can range from clothing to electronics to furniture.
“It’s great for someone like an international student, who often only has one bag when they get to SUNY Plattsburgh. They can get most things they need right on campus for $5,” Sherman said. “Then when they leave, they can bring it all back to the thrift stop.”
A cart service is available for all students on campus to transport items to and from their dorm. Students are also welcome to browse the shop without purchasing a ticket first.
All of the money collected from the tickets is given to the campus food shelf.
“The entire idea of the thrift stop is to help students and faculty who may be in need. We wanted to turn that money around and help the students in another way,” Sherman said.
At the grand opening in August 2021, they raised nearly seven hundred dollars, and around a thousand dollars was raised at the beginning of the spring semester.
They hope to spread word of the stop, that “it will only thrive if students and faculty actively donate and buy from the stop,” Sherman said.
Ann Beauchamp, a senior at SUNY Plattsburgh, is a big proponent of thrifting.
“When I was younger, my mom would always ask where I wanted to go for school shopping,” Beauchamp said. “Instead of something like Target, I would always say to a thrift store. I loved the idea of finding something no one else has, and as I got older, I also loved the sustainability of it.”
She learned about the campus thrift stop from the emails and hopes to visit the next time they’re open.
“I’d also advise students to take the time and thrift. Not only is there the satisfaction of finding a unique item and being sustainable, but it can be a great way to see a town and get involved in the community,” Beauchamp said.
The stop is currently operated by volunteers and the campus housing staff. There aren’t set hours, but Sherman said to expect updates and information over email.
Students are welcome to get involved volunteering at the stop, and encouraged to donate goods or just $5 for the food shelf.