Grand re-opening scheduled for 4 p.m. March 23
In the fall of 2015, the Student Resource Center was quietly established to assist students, who have financial restraints, with basic food, paper products and toiletry needs.
"It (the center) came about after recognizing that we had students who weren't financially prepared for the realities of living on their own," said Erin Scheutz, director of SOAR. "There are unforeseen circumstances sometimes and we have people here who could support those needs."
As the generosity of the Clarion University community grew, so did the inventory and space requirements. The space inside Becht Hall also was needed for an office and the hours of the Student Resource Center didn't seem to fit with students' schedules. Despite the questions surrounding where it would live, one thing was certain – the center was necessary.
"It got used. We went through food fairly quickly and toilet paper and toothbrushes," Schuetz said.
Once Gemmell Student Complex was renovated, a new location beside the new lactation room was established. In the meantime, the Advisory Board for Leadership and Engagement, otherwise known as ABLE, stepped up to manage the space and the stock of the Student Resource Center. This service fits with their group's vision and values.
"ABLE decided to adopt this project because it was a great opportunity to help individuals who are in need. Our main focuses as an organization are community service and leadership so having the chance to serve our fellow students by taking the lead on the resource room was something we couldn't walk away from," said ABLE member Brendon Henshawe.
ABLE is now ready to accept items to help stock the Student Resource Center.
"The resource room is in need of nonperishable canned goods, shampoo and body wash, lightly worn clothes, canned chicken or tuna, peanut butter, Ramen noodles, granola bars, and anything else would be appreciated," Henshawe said.
Donations should be dropped off at the Gemmell Information Desk on the second Floor, Henshawe added.
Some other donation ideas include:
- non-perishable canned foods
- pasta sauce
- non-perishable packaged meals
- individual canned/cupped fruits
- individual macaroni & cheese
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- paper plates
- plastic utensils
- full sized shampoo/conditioner
- men's and women's shaving cream
- feminine products
Students should also know that the center is anonymous. Schuetz said that they always gave students their privacy when they went into the center and that feeling of anonymity should remain in Gemmell.
Henshawe also is pleased with the new location.
"I think the new location and times of operation will definitely help it be utilized more. I believe a lot more students go through Gemmell than Becht on a daily basis and it'll be a lot more accessible compared to before," he said.
A list for any special requests will be available in the room as well. ABLE will make these needs known as they learn of them. As an example of past special needs, Schuetz said the university community has donated cold weather items for students.
The new Student Resource Center officially opened March 7, but a grand re-opening is planned for 4 p.m. Thursday, March 23. Those who attend are asked to bring a non-perishable food item, paper good or toiletry item for the center. All who donate will be entered into a drawing for a prize sponsored by ABLE.
Hours for the Center will be:
12 – 8 p.m. Tuesday – Friday
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday
To contact ABLE, please email them directly at email@example.com.