The Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship opened a repository of professional attire Friday in Room 130A on the south side of the Business and Aerospace Building.
Raiders' Closet will be open each Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. so that students from Phi Beta Lambda may collect donations of clean, gently-used men's and women's clothing in all sizes and help students find what they need.
Dr. K. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, an expert on business etiquette and comportment, came up with the idea. Some of the business suits and dresses currently on the racks were hers.
"In the process of losing 60 pounds, I lost a whole closet full of nice clothes," said Hemby-Grubb. "I have a lot of women's suits in various colors, and they're in good shape."
The closets in Room 130A run the width of the room. The closet on the left side will serve as a dressing room. Dr. Jim Burton, retiring dean of the College of Business, donated seed money for rollable clothing racks, and Hemby-Grubb purchased size dividers and vinyl coverings to protect the garments from dust.
"We'd really like to see this grow into a university community project and grow into a larger space in time if we need it," Hemby-Grubb said.
Raiders' Closet will accept donations of suits, ties, dresses, blouses, shoes, accessories -- anything one might wear to a job interview.
"We're not accepting things you would take to Goodwill just to clean out your closet," said Hemby-Grubb. "We want our MTSU graduates to come out of here looking professional."
Unfortunately, too many students either can't afford business clothes or have mistaken ideas about what to wear, she said. The professor said some students go to career fairs looking as though they just rolled out of bed. Others think they can wear tight, low-cut dresses and high heels or display their piercings and tattoos in a business setting.
"You should spend the time and the effort to put on a suit and tie, or in a woman's case, a suit with a nice blouse," Hemby-Grubb said. "These people are taking time out from their busy day to interview you because they thought your resume was impressive enough to schedule an interview. So show them the respect they deserve."
Students will be allowed to take their fashion selections and keep them in perpetuity for no charge.
Donations may be made at Raiders' Closet each Friday or in the Business Communication and Entrepreneurship office in Room 429N of the Business and Aerospace Building between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.