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Crosby garage sale gives back what was left behind

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Posted: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:00 pm

Ever wonder what students leave behind at Gonzaga University when they vacate campus for the summer? Almost everything: textbooks, clothes, jewelry and even bicycles still locked to bike racks. In the end, most items are sold at a summer garage sale in the Crosby Student Center.

When dormitory halls empty for the summer, Plant Services staff begin the task of making the campus ready for summer school, sports camps and fall semester.This is also the time the staff at Crosby holds the annual garage sale. The items available come from Lost and Found and donations.

The revenue from the sale is used for Crosby improvements, such as a new Lost and Found cabinet. The last one fell apart.

The sale is set up in the first-floor student lounge, near the information desk, and continues about six weeks.

"People enjoy coming in. Everyone looks forward to it," Crosby manager Carol Magnuson said.

The list of items left behind ranges from mundane to random: eyeglasses and cases, jewelry and watches, a cordless phone and a shoe rack, a Dell computer monitor, winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves, glassware and candle holders. Even a baby stroller. Bikes found left in the racks are both intact and in pieces.

"Make us an offer" the sign says, although the prices are so low you may not need to haggle.

"I got a hat and gloves last year and I love them. I still use them," said Kaylynn Brandon of Plant Services.

Another Plant Services team member, Joann Bruce, confessed: "I thought it was things that students left behind when they went home."

However, there were other people on campus who said they either didn't know about the sale or didn't know when it began and how long it lasted. The consensus was that a campus wide e-mail notice could be helpful. That e-mail might even prompt more donations.

The bicycles left behind are a different story. On June 3, Bob Cepeda, associate director of security, sent out an e-mail announcing Gonzaga University's Abandoned Bike Removal Program.

Cepeda said Security follows several steps in this process. First, resident assistants are notified, so they can tell the bike owner of the impending action. Then, Security tags the bikes, bike carcasses and parts. They allow two weeks to pass, waiting for owners to step up to claim their rides.

And finally, the actual removal is implemented in one day. Tagged items still secured to racks are removed and stored for one year. According to Cepeda, one or two bikes are reclaimed during the annual holding period, provided the owner can identify the bike. Recently, there were at least 15 whole bikes removed, according to Cepeda.

At the end of the year Gonzaga donates the bikes and parts. Pedals to People, a local non-profit organization, received several bikes, and a student working on a sustainability project for a class was given what he needed for his work.

"This GU program has been in place almost 10 years," Cepeda said.

According to Cepeda, it offers security for the apparently deserted bikes. Thieves notice when a bike hasn't been moved and looks abandoned. As many students know, bike thieves are busy in the neighborhoods surrounding Gonzaga.

Next time an earring or hat or keys or bike goes missing, check Student Center's Lost and Found or Security. You will be surprised to learn what fellow students have turned in or left behind.

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