Second annual Repair Clinic being held for GVSU students

GVL / Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye

Ita Tsai

Hanging on by a thread? The second annual Repair Clinic at Grand Valley State University will take place Thursday, Feb. 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center. This clinic is organized by Housing and Residence Life, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).

Living away from parents may prove to be difficult for many students; carelessness often leads to broken glasses, backpack straps, or the wear and tear of clothing. In order to help students keep up with their non-academic responsibilities, the Repair Clinic invites students to bring in items that need fixing.

Volunteers made up of GVSU faculty and staff will be there to lend their skills to students who need their belongings mended. Volunteers will fix rips, replace buttons, reattach backpack straps, repair eyeglasses, hem pants and more.

“We can get rid of some of the little annoyances such as your backpack strap or holes in the backpack, and that would be good for students, especially at a stressful point in the term,” said Monica Johnstone, CLAS director of communications and advancement. “We will have about 15 volunteers. In the first clinic we had four, who were people from CLAS and housing only. 

“This time, we have people from a bunch of different colleges and offices around campus that are going to help us.”

Johnstone said they came up with the idea for this clinic because it would offer “a new perspective on the faculty and staff to the students.”

“It would be nice for students to see them in a different kind of setting, to help them with advising, as well as teaching them a life skill that will be helpful to them,” she said. “Also, to just provide the service to them, since it’s something they aren’t able to do themselves because they don’t have access to a sewing machine or the materials that we do.” 

Students who attend will also be able to ask members of the CLAS Academic Advising Center, as well as professors from different disciplines, questions about their schedules, careers and courses.

Depending on the workload, students will also receive small lessons on how to do the repairs on their own so that maybe they can pass down the knowledge to other struggling students. There will also be lessons on knitting for beginners at the clinic.

The success of the first clinic inspired Johnstone to host another event for the winter semester.

“After the first Repair Clinic, the students asked us to do this again next month, but we decided to leave a little more time and do it next term,” she said. “Since we now know there’s real interest, it made sense to advertise it more widely to gather up more volunteers.”

This event is free to all GVSU students, and Johnstone hopes that future Repair Clinics won’t just be limited to the Allendale Campus.

“In the future, we would also like to move it around,” she said. “We would love to do one downtown at some point or the other campus to make it more convenient for students.”