UAM announced the grand opening event for a new student resource, the Weevil House of Garments (WHOG). WHOG will officially open Thursday, September 26 at 12:00 p.m. Professional attire will be housed in the facility for current students to access at no cost. The Thursday event is open to the public.
The project began when a need was identified for students to have appropriate clothing for job interviews, professional events, and in the workforce. Chancellor Karla Hughes expalined, “Any time we see a barrier to our students succeeding, I want to know we can address it. I was Emily Ashley and Renea McClendon came to me to see how we could provide this resource to our students, and the Weevil House of Garments was born.”
A committee led by Ashley was created to develop the project, including members of UAM faculty and staff – Kathy Anderson, Emily Ashley, Colleen Hammock, Tyler Harrison, Stephanie Harton, Marie Jenkins, Roberta Thomas, Annette Vincent – and students – Garianna Booker, Grace Lee and Kaylyn Smith.
“The team has been working diligently since last spring to make this happen. Since Residence A was empty, it was the perfect location. I can’t say enough about Emily’s leadership, she has been the driving force,” said Hughes. The WHOG is located in a house on campus at 459 University Drive beside the tennis courts. University physical plant staff worked extensively to prepare the house for its new purpose, building a specialized donation bin, cleaning and power washing, and setting up the interior.
Students may select two professional outfits per month, which is free and remains theirs. Clothing has been donated by people connected to the college and from a number of community members. “We are grateful for those who have already contributed to this project,” said Ashley. “It just shows how dedicated Drew County is to our students.”
Donations of hangers, dress shoes (all sizes), accessories like belts, ties and jewelry, can be made at any time. New personal care items are also accepted. A large donation box is located under the carport at the WHOG.
“This has been one of my favorite projects,” said Ashley. “Being able to provide our students with professional clothing for interviews or existing jobs has become a passion. I always love to see the ways the community and UAM come together, and it has been no different with this project.”
Following the grand opening on September 26, business hours for Weevil House of Garments will be Mondays and Thursdays from 12:00-3:00 p.m. Students will need to bring their UAM ID.
To learn more about volunteering to work in the WHOG, or for students who have urgent needs outside of operating hours, contact Emily Ashley in the UAM chancellor’s office at 870-460-1762.