MUN's Coat Check helps students bundle up for the winter semester

The clothing swap makes sure students have the gear they need to make it to spring — especially students who come from warmer climes.

Clothing swap helps less-fortunate students and students who've never experienced a Newfoundland winter

Jvalant Trivedi says he's getting used to Newfoundland weather but it's still pretty cold. (Caroline Hillier/CBC)

It's safe to say Jvalant Trivedi's experience with winter in his home country of India is different from what he's dealt with since coming to St. John's.

"I feel very cold," said the Memorial University student, browsing through clothes at a Coat Check event at the university Friday. "It's very cold today."

The good news for Trivedi is that, having been in Newfoundland for three months, he's starting to adjust — but he's not a fan of the snowy, icy sidewalks and roads.

"It is very terrible," he said.

The Coat Check clothing swap is a way to kick off MUN's winter semester by making sure students have the gear they need to make it to spring — especially students who come from warmer climes.

If someone needs a coat, we're not going to see anybody do without one.- Tammy Snook

Tammy Snook, one of the event's volunteers, said students collected used coats throughout December to hand out to students.

"With this harsh Newfoundland winter, they definitely need something warm," she said. "So today we're opening up to all students, and whoever needs a a coat to survive the winter can definitely come get one."

Volunteer Emily Webb said most people who need a coat are international students.

People browse the racks at Memorial University's Coat Check clothing swap Friday. (Caroline Hillier/CBC)

"We have a lot of students who come in who don't really expect that the weather here is as cold as it is. So a lot of them are very thankful that they have this opportunity to come get the coats and the equipment that they need."

But any student who needs a coat can get one.

"International students or domestic, we're open to everybody. If someone needs a coat, we're not going to see anybody do without one," said Snook.

Donations accepted

The group lost count of how many coats were donated, but Snook estimates it was at least 100, along with hats, mitts, pants, boots — just about any type of clothing.

Donations can still be made to the student experience office, said Webb.

Julia Halfyard of MUN's Student Experience office, which put on the event along with MUN's student union, said Coat Check served a couple of purposes.

"We want to have a free thrift store for our students so that if they want for anything they can come in get it, they're prepared for winter, but also we want them to know how much we welcome them to Memorial University and to Newfoundland and Labrador."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Caroline Hillier

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