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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

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Human Services Technology majors Tracy Rich, Human Services Club president; Sarah Stebelton, vice president; and Andrea Merino, secretary, display some of the donated clothing available to Lancaster and Pickerington students.

Photographer: Jennifer LaRue

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Human Services Technology students sponsor 'Interview-ready' clothing closet


Human Services Technology (HST)  majors at Ohio University's Lancaster campus are making sure their fellow students feel confident and look good as they head out to job interviews.

Racks of men’s and women’s suits, shirts, trousers, dresses, blouses and skirts and tables of sweaters, shoes and neckties were arrayed Thursday in the Wilkes Gallery for Visual Arts for students to peruse, try on, and take home for free.

Members of the Lancaster Rotary Club, who made the students’ project their May charity of the month, donated many of the gently used items.

The project was the first planned by the newly organized Human Services Club, under the direction of Lisa Skeens, instructor and program coordinator in HST. 

According to Skeens, HST students take courses in crisis intervention, case management, psychology, sociology, group dynamics, behavior management and community resources, and complete 300 hours of practicum experience with local agencies or programs.

Club president Tracy Rich spent most of her day staffing the clothing closet. Rich, who has many years of experience with the Metropolitan Housing Authority and Lutheran Social Services, knows that in the current economy some students cannot afford a nice suit.

"Students want to look good during the interview, but may not want to invest in a suit that, in today’s casual environment, won’t be worn again."

Other club members agreed.

"Getting a suit is empowering; it’s symbolic; it says "'look what I’ve finished, "' said Sarah Stebelton, the group’s vice president.

One student selected a suit for her boyfriend as well as clothing for herself. Another chose a dress for her daughter to wear to graduation.                          

Any clothing left on the racks and tables will be delivered to the Metropolitan Housing Authority Closet in Lancaster.

The clothing closet project also is symbolic of the students chosen major.

"It’s awesome if we can help someone," said Stebelton.