At the end of the 2012 spring semester, intern Sarah D’Alexander and sustainability coordinator Sean Kinghorn led students, faculty and staff in collecting clothes, furniture and other items that were donated rather than discarded.
D’Alexander organized the event, May Move Out, as part of her class with geology-geography professor John Krygier; in spring 2013 Reed Callahan took the lead since D’Alexander had graduated.
It was a favorite program for Kinghorn, but it fell apart after he left – without him, students and professors would have had to run the program themselves, during finals week.
In addition to finals week, last year’s efforts for a May Move Out also conflicted with OWU’s hosting of the NCAA Division 3 track and field outdoor nationals that required the dorms to be cleared and cleaned immediately.
The follow-up part of May Move Out was the fall Free Store, where items were given away or, in the case of large TVs or computers, raffled off. Without May Move Out to gather items, the Free Store is not currently held either.
The program requires someone on staff to coordinate it during finals week, and this is difficult, said Shari Stone-Mediatore, former task force chair.
“Students and faculty (were) collecting things that students would just throw out and putting them in a free store and people devoted many hours to that, but Sean also worked all day long,” she said.
Kinghorn said the program, which wasn’t solely about sustainability, brought in many student volunteers for the overall effort of environmentalism.
Buildings and Grounds Director Peter Schantz said there’s an idea being discussed on bringing the Move Out back and donating to the local Goodwill, but the idea is far from certain.
In a fall 2014 English project, students Claire Lofgren, Kate Hudson and Marcus Ramirez polled 214 students about the Free Store and Move Out programs.
Based on their findings, students see the main focus of the program was to cut down on student waste, and so donations to the Goodwill would still be a viable option, Lofgren said.
Forty two of the 214 surveyed students said they had gone to either the OWU or Delaware Free Store, and seven added specific comments after the survey in support of the store in an ‘additional comments’ section.