For some students, wearing business clothes to interviews, job fairs or internships is not an option. Thanks to a new program called Seymour’s Career Closet, though, business clothing will become available for free to students of Southern Miss.
Seymour’s Career Closet is brought to campus by the Graduate Student Senate, Office of Sustainability and The Division of Student Affairs. It will open March 1 on the first floor of Bolton Hall. Before the program is officially opened, a business wear donation drive will be held until Feb. 28.
The idea of Seymour’s Closet came to Arien Faucett, the Graduate Student Senate Representative for the School of Kinesiology and Nutrition, as she was cleaning out her closet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the pandemic shutdown, I decided to clean out my closet and purged my closet of a lot of business attire that I hadn’t worn in a while,” Faucett said. “I realized that because of the condition [of the clothes], someone else may want to get some use out of it and I decided to reach out to the GSS members to see if anyone would be interested in helping to organize a clothing drive.”
Faucett reached out to Leslee Potvin, the Manager of Sustainable Operations for the Office of Sustainability, and a partnership was formed. Potvin said Seymour’s Closet will be accepting gently used or new business wear such as suits, blazers, dress shoes, ties, belts and portfolios.
Items for Seymour’s Closet will still be accepted after Feb. 28, but will be handled in a slightly different way.
“Those offering to donate items after the drive may reach out to the Office of Sustainability and we will arrange a date and time to make a drop off at our office,” Potvin said.
Gavin Rustin, the president of the Graduate Student Senate, said he wishes a program like Seymour’s Closet was available when he was an undergraduate student. He said access to business clothes should not be a barrier to getting a job, and hopes that Seymour’s Closet will help anyone who needs it.
Faucett said she thinks it is indicative of the spirit of Southern Miss faculty, staff and community that an initiative to support students was able to be put in motion and supported by numerous offices around campus.
“I honestly hope that Seymour’s Closet will be a resource for undergrad and graduate students who have worked so hard to prepare for the job market,” Faucett said. “Metaphorically, the community is giving the shirt off their hangers to support all of us and that’s amazing.”
More information about Seymour’s Closet can be found at https://www.usm.edu/sustainability/, including the locations of drop off bins for business clothes.