Lost and found solution still missing

By Leah Sasges

So you’ve lost your $500, limited edition, lucky squash racquet. It’s disappeared out of your sweaty little hands, literally, and after your panic attack, you regroup and decide to haul ass to the lost and found at Campus Security. Brilliant, only until you get there and discover that they only hold keys, wallets, purses, cell phones and items valued over $1,000. You are directed toward the blue box across the hall, much like the ones from elementary school. You know, like the ones with the broken lid, and stinky toques and gym shoes mucking about.

The Students’ Union is not happy about this.

“Members of the SU went over there and looked and said, what happens to all of the rings and stuff, anything worth value?” commented SU Vice-President Operations and Finance Greg Clayton, “[Lanny Fritz] said, ‘Oh, we get rid of it’”.

Well where does it go?

“It didn’t used to be this way,” said Fritz. “The lost and found was scaled back in 2002 as a result of a review of our resources and a look at how we could be more efficient in certain areas. With work space at a premium, and a budget cut resulting in the elimination of the lost and found administrative position, this service was deemed not a core function and therefore adjusted to its present day service level.”

“I consulted with Students’ Union who expressed an interest in continuing the full service model which usually included gloves, mitts, scarves, jackets, books, notebooks etc.,” explained Fritz. “The SU took up the challenge during the first week of transition, managing the Lost and Found Service just outside our doors, through volunteers in the SU Information Center. The SU abandoned that service after the first week, resulting in the open bin concept we have today.”

Clayton is trying to figure out some sort of solution to deal with the current lost and found program, or lack thereof.

“I think it’s important for students to have an extensive lost and found because that big blue garbage bin that’s out there gets ransacked by homeless people, and stuff of any value doesn’t stay in there,” said Clayton. “What they had set up [before] is perfect, they have all those really nice cupboards, good storage space, they are open long hours, it just makes sense for the lost and found to be at campus security. Lanny Fritz talked about budget constraints, and we recognized that they weren’t able to do it. So we had a meeting with Lanny and asked, what will it cost, we’ll fund someone, we’ll pay for­ it–just let us know.”

Campus Security couldn’t afford the extended lost and found, but now the SU is offering to pay for it. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

“Safety Services’ previous workspace [for the lost and found] was turned over to an academic faculty,” explained Fritz.

“The space is being used for risk management documents, to store files, stuff like that,” said Clayton. “It seems bizarre that even when we offer to pay for it, they say no.”

Until things are reworked by Campus Security and the SU, the bin will continue to be ransacked by poor students and the homeless alike.