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Ohio State’s lost and found a largely unknown campus asset

OSU has an official lost and found located in room 035 of the McCracken Power Plant. Credit: Shay Trotter / Lantern photographer

OSU has an official lost and found located in room 035 of the McCracken Power Plant.
Credit: Shay Trotter / Lantern photographer

Ohio State’s lost and found might be a hidden treasure itself.

Dan Allen, a third-year in history, found a pair of glasses March 6 and wasn’t sure where to turn them in, so he turned to social media to try and reunite them with their owner.

“I know what it’s like to lose something, so I posted a picture of the lost glasses in every single Ohio State Facebook group that I’m a member of, hoping to contact someone,” Allen said. “I’ve been able to return a wallet to someone that way already this year.”

Allen had no idea OSU had a lost and found and said many other OSU students are also probably in the dark as well.

“I would like to think that people try their hardest to get lost items back to the person who owns them, but as far as glasses or graphing calculators that don’t have identification on them, I don’t know what would happen to those if people don’t know there’s a lost and found,” Allen said.

Facilities Operations and Development’s lost and found is located at 035 McCracken Power Plant at 2003 Millikin Road.

Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for OSU Administration and Planning, said in an email lost and found’s staff uses “Find People,” an OSU student, staff and faculty directory, if the item is labeled, and works with the Registrar’s Office to find ways to contact or locate the people whose property it has received.

Komlanc said approximately 30 percent of items turned in to the lost and found are returned to their owners, but she did not have exact numbers about how many items are turned in.

“Keep in mind that in addition to our faculty, staff and students, there is a large population of visitors on campus every day, so we don’t always have the opportunity to be able to find people not associated with the university,” Komlanc said.

The lost and found keeps items for 90 days and then donates them to various university departments and OSU nonprofit organizations, according to the OSU lost and found website.

“Books are donated to the Friends of the Library program, prescription glasses are donated the Student Volunteers for Optometric Service to Humanity program,” Komlanc said. “Calculators are donated to the math and chemistry departments for tutoring, everything else is donated to Buckeye Bargains.”

Buckeye Bargains is an OSU thrift shop, located at 54 Converse Hall in 2121 Tuttle Park Place.

Keith Stock, a fourth-year in communication who has lost things around campus before, said he did not know an official university lost and found existed.

“I once lost a hoodie and a pair of sunglasses so I went to all the classrooms where I had been that day and then went to all the lobbies of those classroom buildings,” Stock said. “(People) checked their baskets they had for lost items but no one ever told me about this main lost and found area to go to.”

Stock said he does not think many students or student workers know about the OSU lost and found.

“If the lost and found had a social media outreach page and more people knew about it, it would be a much more effective tool,” Stock said.

Allen said he, too, thinks the lack of awareness about the lost and found is a problem.

“Social media is the most effective way to return lost items to people that I’ve found on a campus this large,” Allen said. “If more people knew that there was a lost and found, then that would definitely be the most efficient way because you could just go to a centralized location.”

Allen said he plans to turn in the glasses he found to the OSU lost and found now that he knows about it.

“There are all of these OSU Facebook groups, I think that (the lost and found) should have their own group,” Allen said. “Even if you turn something in and they (whoever lost it) don’t know to go there to look after 90 days, it just gets donated.”

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