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Purple Threads: Open for business at UAlbany

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A new resource for students through the University At Albany was inaugurated on February 1st as the new “clothing closet” Purple Threads opened in the Campus Center, garnering support and service from students, faculty, alumni, and the entire campus community.

Purple Threads, a clothing closet of professional and business apparel, is a new program offered through the Division of Student Affairs, allows all enrolled students at UAlbany to select articles of professional clothes for no cost to assist them in the workplace, internships, and at interviews, according to Director of Career and Professional Development Noah Simon.

“We understood there was a need for many of our students to provide them with professional clothing,” said Simon shortly before the grand opening. “Professional clothing can be expensive and we saw an opportunity where we could provide this clothing to students for no cost.”

The closet consists of donated professional clothing, ranging anywhere from ties to blouses to full suits and even shoes. After speaking to many faculty members and volunteers, it was very clear that people wanted to support this program and its value to the campus.

“We’ve really had a great response from our campus community, especially our alumni and staff, to help get this program going,” Simon said. “Purple Threads has represented the best of our UAlbany community.”

After Vice President of Student Affairs Michael Christakis spoke to the crowd gathered in the hallways of the third floor of the Campus Center, thanking the many people involved with the program, students gathered into the office space-turned-walk in closet to browse through the expansive collection of clothing and accessories, while faculty and volunteers assisted them with style, fitting, and fashion tips.

Browsing an expansive display of business suits was Pranav Doshi, a UAlbany graduate student, who commented on how the program might help him out at an upcoming career fair.

“There aren’t a lot of opportunities like this for us near or on campus, so having this kind of store is something great.”

Another student, sophomore business major Lauren Rothburd, was checking out some shirts and tops with her friend after hearing about the event in her Career and Life Planning class. “It was good because I wanted to schedule an interview for an internship but I didn’t have anything to wear, so this definitely helped me out.”

Throughout the afternoon until 4 p.m., students were able to check out the closet, try on some of the clothing in fitting rooms, and take home some of their picks without any costs or obligations to return them. The policy permits students to take up to 3 articles of clothing or one full suit, and UAlbany website advertises a potential chance to take home more if they bring in other professional clothes to donate.

Volunteers from across the university came out to assist with the program launch, including junior Teresa Chan, who was proud that she could take part in the event with her sorority sisters. “It’s an amazing opportunity for them to find clothes for these interviews and internships, because dress and attire is really important in those environments. I’m glad to see everyone smiling and having a good time as well.”

Donations to Purple Threads can be made at Campus Center Connections or at the  Community and Public Service Office in the Social Sciences building in room 112, and can be reached at [email protected]

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Phillip Downes is a student at UAlbany, Class of 2022, and the News Editor for the Albany Student Press.

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