The Rainy Angle: Importance of proper clothing for cold weather sets in with start of winter term

Program Manager in OSU’s College of Business Amy Newman looks through a selection of winter coats that hang from the racks of Benny’s Business Closet on Nov. 24, 2021. Benny’s is a business thrift store in Milam Hall on the Corvallis, Ore. Oregon State University campus that sells locally-donated business clothing to OSU students for a very affordable price.

Cassidy Malick, Columnist

Editor’s Note: This column does not represent the opinion of The Daily Barometer. This column reflects the personal opinions of the writer.

The increasingly cold weather in Corvallis, Ore. highlights the lack of clothing resources at Oregon State University for students who need clothing that is appropriate for the wet season.

With the winter solstice behind us, the days will slowly grow longer, but Oregon’s famously cold, wet weather will continue for a few more months. For students without waterproof clothing or an appropriately warm wardrobe, this weather can be hard to deal with and exhausting to handle.

Clothing resources are essential for filling in gaps in a students’ winter wardrobe. Run out of Milam Hall, Benny’s Business Closet is one such resource that prices all its clothing under $20. It runs on donations and sometimes clothing drives.

The goal of Benny’s Business Closet is to provide students of all majors with the clothing resources they need to succeed in a professional environment.

“[Benny’s Business Closet] will be available on Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon [during winter term],” said Jennifer Villalobos, program manager in the College of Business and staff member at the Academic Success Center. “Students can also make appointments as well.”

Since its opening in 2015 as a pop-up shop on campus, Benny’s Business Closet has secured a permanent location in Milam Hall. Villalobos said there has been a noticeable increase in students using the resource as more students tell their friends about it.

While Benny’s Business Closet does sell some jackets and other clothes that can be worn during cold months, their focus is more on professional clothing, not on specifically providing winter clothing for students.

The Human Services Resource Center also does not run clothing drives or have any cold weather clothing resources for students who may need it. The HSRC does, however, provide an array of other services, including food and textbook lending programs.

In the Pacific Northwest, which is well-known for its cold and rainy weather, winter clothing resources should be available. A warm, dry jacket is important to a student’s health and success.

The Military Veterans Resource Center did conduct a clothing drive for refugees from Afghanistan in October and November of 2021, proving that a clothing drive on a college campus can be successful even though this event was not meant for OSU students.

“A lot of people in the veteran community just wanted to give back to the refugees because they stuck their necks out for us and deserve a lot more than what they are getting so far,” said Mikayla Weber, a student veteran working at the MVRC.

According to Weber, an advisor at the MVRC reached out to a military base in Wisconsin where Afghanistan refugees are staying and received a list of clothing that the refugees needed. The MVRC drive was organized around those needs.

“We ran the drive for about a month and collected a fair amount of the stuff we needed,” Weber said.

She said this was the first clothing drive the MVRC has run in the two years she has worked there and that she isn’t sure if the MVRC has run any previous clothing drives.

At this time there is no sufficient winter-clothing resource on campus. An annual coat drive could easily support a resource similar to Benny’s Business Closet in distributing winter clothing to students and community members in need. Donating old sweatshirts, hats, gloves and jackets would put them in the hands of students who need them.