Pride, Gamma donate clothes, provide unique student service

Geneseo Pride Alliance and Gamma Chi Epsilon teamed up to host a clothing swap in the MacVittie College Union’s Fireside Lounge on Thursday Dec. 3. The swap did provide students with the opportunity to trade clothes, but the main purpose of the event was to donate any leftover clothes to the LGBTQ+ Homeless Shelter in Rochester—a part of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley.

Pride Alliance vice president and Gamma member sophomore Michael Carlin noted that many Americans face situations where they need to seek help from shelters like the shelter in Rochester.

“It’s good for us to reach out because we’re privileged enough where we are able to help out others,” Gamma member junior Chris Ramsey added.

Gamma Chi Epsilon member sophomore Brendan Cullen noted that that the clothing swap was largely successful due to the large presence of active and engaged students on campus.  “[Geneseo has] a strong community,” he said. 

As a member of both organizations, Carlin was able to get the two groups together to put on the event. While Coleman came up with the idea of the charitable swap, he emphasized that the volunteers responsible for helping to plan and implement the event were ultimately what helped make it so successful.

Although this is not the first clothing swap in Geneseo, it is the first one in which Pride and Gamma have collaborated. Carlin expressed his hopes that the event will be a reoccurring one; hoping to host the event again next semester or next year in order to help students change up their style with the changing weather.

At the beginning of the event, members of both organizations sorted piles of clothing throughout the lounge. All students that attended were warmly welcomed and urged to mingle, trade and grab a snack. After a volunteer took the donations, they awarded each student with tickets for every article of clothing they donated. Students could take a piece of clothing and trade the tickets they were rewarded for donating or they could simply drop off their donations.

There was a large range of donated goods with an assortment of bottoms and tops. Carlin noted that clothing swaps are great not only because of the charitable element, but because they provide students with the opportunity to expand their style and to appreciate others’ tastes in fashion. “You might like a sweater someone’s wearing around campus and, if you come to the swap, you might be able to get that exact sweater,” he said.

Overall, the event seemed to be a charitable triumph. It not only brought students together to help give back to the local community and assist those who seek support in a rough time in their lives, but it also acted as a reminder of the good character that the Geneseo student body typically exemplifies every day. The clothing swap was another step to allow students to be part of a supportive and caring school that fosters strong community and service values.