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Skidmore College
Religious and Spiritual Life

Exchange Closet 

*Note: Our Website is Being Updated! More information to come soon. If you can't find what you're looking fo here, please email orsl@skidmore.edu 

Location: Case 206
The Exchange Closet is located on the 2nd floor of Case Center, along the hallway between Campus Life and Engagement (207, back entrance) and the ATM near Burgess Café. 
 
Hours
Regular hours during the academic year: Monday-Thursday 9am - late*, Friday 9am - 4pm 
* These extended hours are a temporary change. Evening hours will remain available as long as we are able to keep the closet clean and organized. Please help us maintain this resource by hanging up clothes after you try them and leaving donations neatly in bags or boxes. Hours are subject to change and will be updated here. Need to access the Exchange Closet but busy during open hours? Let us know! Reminder: If you arrive and find the door closed, try pulling UP on the door handle - it may not be locked! 
During breaks: 
Thanksgiving Break 2022: Closed 
Winter Break 2022-23: Closed December 17th - January 8th. Open regular hours beginning January 8th. Need to access the Closet before January 8th? Contact orsl@skidmore.edu  
Spring Break 2023: Open regular hours
Summer 2023: Open regular hours in June and August. July hours may vary. 
 
About the Exchange Closet 
The Exchange Closet was founded in March 2018 by students working in partnership with Campus Life & Engagement. It was founded with a number of related goals including accessibility, equity, and sustainability, with a particular emphasis on offering gender-affirming clothing without barriers of cost, surveillance, stigma, or scrutiny. Currently the Closet accepts and provides new and gently used clothing, shoes, and limited accessories (winter hats, ties, some bags and other items). There is also a food shelf that is still very much in the "pilot project" stage. When available the food shelf is meant to provide non-perishable food items on a limited basis as well as information about how to seek support in addressing ongoing food insecurity. See the FAQ below for more information or reach out if you have any questions. 
 
Contact

 orsl@skidmore.edu 

Additional Resources
Though the Exchange Closet can be a wonderful resource we know it can't solve everything! If you are a Skidmore student in need of additional support to address any urgent financial needs, access to basic living resources (clothes, shelter, etc), or ongoing food insecurity, there are many additional resources to help. A good place to start is the Office of the Dean of Students. We will be updating this page with additional resources in the coming months. If you work with a Skidmore group or office that provides relevant resources and would like to be listed here, please let us know. 
If you are a local resident or employee looking for resources in the Saratoga area one good place to start is LifeWorks Community Action.
 
Donations

During regular business hours when the College is open, donations can be delivered to the Exchange Closet (Case 206),  the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (Case 205), or the main Campus Life and Engagement office (Case 207). If you are unable to bring donations during those times please contact us and we can help arrange another time. If possible, please bring your donations in a box or bag that you can leave with the items.

What to donate: We currently accept clean new or gently used clothes, shoes, and some accessories (winter hats and gloves, scarves, ties). We also have a small shelf for non-perishable food items, especially the kind of thing that can be a quick meal for students on a budget (soups, staple ingredients, canned goods).

What not to donate: We do not currently have the capacity to accept household goods, most accessories, or toiletries. If you have something in these categories that you think would be particularly helpful to our community, please ask before donating. For example, we have occasionally kept donations of XL twin sheets if they are in excellent condition. 

Where to donate items we do not accept: Students, keep an eye out for swaps arranged by different offices and student groups throughout the year and for the Give and Go program at the end of every Spring Semester. The Sustainable Saratoga website maintains a list of recommendations for how to donate, reuse, repair, and recycle a wide range of items. Always check to see if an organization is accepting your particular type of donations before dropping things off. Questions about partnering with local agencies who might be looking for donated items can also be directed to Michelle Hubbs, Associate Director of Civic Engagement, mhubbs@skidmore.edu

Specific Requests as of January 2023

Things we could use more of:
  • Winter coats and jackets of all kinds
  • Clothes, especially warm clothes, any range of styles and adult sizes, or larger youth sizes
  • Men's or masculine clothing (whatever that means to you!) of all shapes and sizes 
  • Hats, gloves, scarves, ties/bowties
  • Food for the food shelf (non-perishable items, especially staple foods and easy-to-prepare items)
Things we do NOT need as much at the moment:
  • shoes (unless in excellent or new condition)
  • Please do NOT donate household items (kitchen utensils, books, etc). Look for announcements about the annual Give and Go program at the end of the Spring Semester for ways students can donate unwated items. 
Collaborations
The Exchange Closet is supported and organized by many campus partners including individuals, clubs and groups, and offices and departments. Current partners include the Office of Sustainability, Campus Life & Engagement, Student Diversity Programs, Civic Engagement, Student Government Association, and the Office of the Dean of Students. Do you want to partner with the Exchange Closet and want your group listed here? Let us know! 
Frequently Asked Questions 

The clothes and food items are all free. There is no cost to access the Exchange Closet. Please do not take the hangers, racks, boxes, or mirrors.  Please only take what you know you will use and feel free to bring back items if you don't need them any more and if they are still in good condition. 

Nope! There is no requirement to donate before taking items. And there is no requirement to take anything after donating. 

The resource is primarily designed by and for Skidmore students and is accessible to the Skidmore community. 

We have limited space for storage and limited time for sorting and organizing items. If you are absolutely sure that the items you have should be in the Exchange Closet please email us first to be sure we can accommodate the donation. Not sure where else you can donate/recycle/repurpose your items? Check out resources from the Skidmore Sustainability Office and Sustainable Saratoga

Providing clothing for students who face barriers accessing clothes that affirm their gender expression was one of the goals of the students who founded the Exchange Closet at Skidmore and continues to be a priority. The Closet is open to students of any and all genders and ways of dressing, but we know that sometimes it can be challenging for trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming folx to access clothes for a variety of reasons. Students relying on family support to afford clothing may not be able to ask for clothes that work for them. Homophobia and transphobia can also impact a person's access to employment and affordable housing, making free and low-cost resources an important option. Sometimes it's also just nice to pick out clothes in a setting where you know no one's judging whether your selections "fit" what they assume about your identity. 

The Closet was also implemented to reduce the amount of waste and to give viable goods a new life at Skidmore. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades due to fast fashion, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. Globally, we consume about 80 million pieces of new clothing every year. The average American generates about 82 pounds of textile waste each year. The Closet helps prevent unused clothes ,which are often in decent condition, from piling up in the landfills. For more information on how to be sustainable, check out resources from the Skidmore Sustainability Office. 

 

There is a mirror in the Exchange Closet but it's not a private space. There are single-stall restrooms directly downstairs from the Exchange Closet. Just take the stairs or elevator by the ATM down one floor and you'll be in the hallway behind the Post Office and right next to these restrooms. There are also multi-stall restrooms on the same floor as the Closet, along the hallway near the Wyckoff Center and a single-stall restroom in the Wyckoff Center available when the Center is open for drop-in use. 

Yes! Just contact us (see contact information at the top of the page). 

The Exchange Closet continues to be part of the resources supported by Campus Life & Engagement with a number of student groups and offices collaborating to make it a success.  As of Fall 2022 the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is taking the lead on day to day organization but it continues to be a collaborative project. If you or your group has gotten left out of that conversation we apologize and encourage you to get in touch with us or one of our other partner groups. 

While the ORSL is overseeing day to day organization you can reach out to Parker Diggory, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life (Case 205, orsl@skidmore.edu). You can also bring concerns to other staff within Campus Life & Engagement or the Office of the Dean of Students. 

Send your question to orsl@skidmore.edu (or add it to the feedback box in the Exchange Closet...once we have it set up).