Benefits of the Closet Swap: community engagement, sustainability and more

By Hayley Leitzinger

ON APRIL 24, the York College Student Senate will be hosting their first ever closet swap.

The purpose for this event is to raise money for the Spartan Food Pantry. Student Senate Vice President Alyssa Allen is running this project and is excited about the potential it has. The Student Senate will be accepting clothing donations until April 17. The swap itself will be held on the Student Union patio. 

Donations are being accepted through April 17.

Per Student Senate, clothing donations can be dropped off in the Office of Student Activities and Orientation, located in the Student Union building. Donations can also be given directly to the Student Senate during its weekly Monday meetings at 5 p.m. in the William Walker Room of the ISU.

On April 24, Student Senate will be on the SU patio from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Clothing will be one dollar, but members will also be taking donations if more people want to contribute. All money raised will be donated to the Spartan Food Pantry, which is available to all students on campus, so the funds will be going directly back into our community.

Allen, who is a Nursing major, is due to graduate in 2024. When asked about her original inspiration for the Closet Swap, she said, “I was doing my daily scrolls through TikTok and happened to come across a video from another institution where an organization hosted a closet swap to raise money.” She said she discussed this idea with the members of the Executive Board and they agreed on this idea. Allen said, “When thinking of local places we could donate the funds to, the idea of working with the Spartan Food Pantry was brought up, and I was sold.” Allen was happy this was a way for students to give right back to the YCP community.

She also talked about the purpose of the closet swap, aside from raising money for the food pantry.

The food pantry is open Mondays through Fridays.

“The main purpose of the Closet Swap is really to focus on reducing our clothing waste and promoting environmentally friendly habits,” she said. This fundraiser addresses issues of sustainability, which is something many students have been concerned about on campus. Allen looks at this event as “a sustainable event with the bonus of raising money for our Spartan Food Pantry.”

Allen also shared some information with the Spartan about the food pantry itself. Allen enthusiastically described it as “an amazing service available to all students at YCP..” Allen also said that the pantry is located in Room 101 in the bottom of the Student Union. Its hours are Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m. Allen said the things available to students in the pantry are food and hygiene products, “no questions asked.” If students have questions about the food pantry, please contact:

Finally, Allen was asked why she thought this event was so important to the YCP community. She responded, “It [the closet swap] promotes community and sustainability, two things I believe are important grounds to work on at this institution. Seeing students coming together and even reaching out to friends and family off campus has really shown how strong our campus community can be.”

Alyssa Allen came up with the idea for the Closet Swap, which she said ‘is really to focus on reducing our clothing waste and promoting environmentally friendly habits.’ (Photo by Hayley Leitzinger)

Allen also said upon getting the new financial freedom that comes with college, some students get “shop happy” and buy whatever they want. She said this could lead to a lot of unused clothing going in the trash. Allen said she feels that the closet swap is a way for students to buy good clothes at an affordable price, and it avoids clothing waste. 

The Spartan asked several students around campus what their opinion was on the swap. 

Alex Goldstein, a Human Services major said: “I think it’s a great way to encourage community engagement. I feel like York hasn’t done a lot of fundraisers that encourage students to interact with each other in this way, so I think it’s a really good idea,”

The Spartan also met up with Eileen Kelly, a senior in Human services. She thought it was a great way for students to meet new people and make new friends. She said it’s also great that “everything’s a dollar, so it’s a great way for students hard up on cash to get cheap clothes.” Kelly said she was very excited about this event and was definitely planning on attending. 

The Spartan also asked Brayden Fake, a freshman majoring in Creative Industries, what his thoughts were on the closet swap. Fake said he thinks it’s a great thing for Student Senate to do, adding that it’s a great event for “college students who need new clothes, but have limited money.” He also thought it was a great way for YCP students to donate to the community. 

Hayley Leitzinger is a freshman at YCP who hopes to major in Occupational Therapy. She is tailoring her classes this semester to that major. 

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