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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A new home for what lost its home

Photo by Ishika Samant

After holding over 12,000 items longer than 90 days, the MSC Lost and Found will sell the unclaimed items on Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon.

What has lost its home may find a new one.

The Memorial Student Center, or MSC, Lost and Found, located in the MSC Student Programs office, will host the annual lost and found sale in Rudder Plaza from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Oct. 12.

Any item stored in the MSC Lost & Found for over 90 days may be put up for public auction, or sale, per Texas A&M University policy. Multiple lost and found sales have taken place over the years, but this marks the first time the university has planned the logistics surrounding the annual sale and hosted the event itself.

As executive director of service, communications junior Madeline Sweany will coordinate the volunteers and their responsibilities as needed, she said.

“The lost and found sale has undergone a couple of changes recently,” Sweany said. “It is no longer run by MSC Hospitality. It is run by the MSC itself. Because of that, my role has switched. Rather than plan logistics of [the sale], I only coordinate volunteers. Depending on what the lost and found needs that day, we will organize the lost items on the tables, talk to customers and help them in the line and keep track of payment and money.”

Public health senior and MSC Hospitality Chair Abby Alquiza said with less on its plate, the service committee looks forward to making the low-stress event as best as can be.

“When we were in charge of organizing, pricing and sorting, it honestly was super overwhelming,” Alquiza said. “It takes a lot of our committee being willing and able to make sure everything that goes out there for the sale is presentable. It’s not a garbage sale. It’s an actual program. It’s a lot of the work of people who are willing and able. Overall, for this upcoming lost and found sale, we are looking good. It [will be] a lot less stressful.”

The MSC Lost & Found is located in the MSC Student Programs Office Suite 2240. MSC Lost and Found Director Stephanie Walker said there are multiple buildings with their own lost and found, but this one is considered the central location for A&M.

“Regularly, other lost and founds from around campus send their items here because we are the lost and found that is responsible for holding the items for 90 days,” Walker said. “We want students to know we’re here to find their lost items. We also want staff to know we’re here so they know to send items here regularly.”

Surrounding locations will hold their found items for various numbers of days, but they will ultimately send unreleased items to the MSC location, Walker said.

“Evans [Library], once a week, sends us their items,” Walker said. “They do hold onto items for a couple of days because if you leave something in the library the first place you’re going to check is the library. After a few days, you must suspect that it’s made its way here. If you lost something on the bus on Friday, you can check the MSC lost and found on the next business day, Monday. The same thing goes for if you lose something in Kyle Field during the game. They have been amazing about bringing stuff to us on Monday. We receive a lot of calls from people out of town on Monday asking if we have their item.”

The lost and found records between 50 and 100 lost items a day. In the 2022 fiscal year, the central location logged over 12,000 lost items, Walker said. This makes for a variety of lost items to be sold with a few exceptions.

Walker said at the sale, the most popular items are earbuds and headphones.

“We also have so many water bottles,” Walker said. “We have clothes, hats and jewelry. There is a little bit of everything. We can’t sell cell phones or laptops, nor can we sell Apple watches and Fitbits because they’re linked to accounts. We don’t want the liability of selling the items to someone, even if we can factory reset them. Air pods can be sold because even though they are Bluetooth linked, they don’t have access to personal information.”

In September, the MSC reunited 573 of 1,675 lost items with their respective owners. The more information someone has regarding their lost item, the better chance a lost and found student worker can aid the person with their item, Walker said.

“We want to reunite items,” Walker said. “We have a program that we use for each item that comes in. We give it a descriptor, put it in a category, enter the location and the date it was found … when you come in saying you lost a water bottle, we will ask when/where you lost it and what it looks like. In any given week, we may have several hundred turned in, so this helps us narrow it down. Water bottles typically have a lot of descriptions. Something like empty airpod cases are harder to narrow down if they don’t have a specific description and we don’t know when and where you lost it. We go through the effort to make sure the item you pick up is yours.”

Proceeds from the sale will go back to the lost and found towards funding its resources. The MSC Lost & Found operates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit the lost and found’s website.

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