When things disappear, they often reappear at campus security’s lost and found.
Operating from an office in the administration building, Maureen Rickertsen, head of campus security at the Puyallup campus, documents all the items turned in and supervises their return to their owners.
During the years, Rickertsen has seen many items pass through the lost and found.
This winter quarter, two laptops were turned in within the first week. Last year an envelope with $1,200 in cash and some mail was turned in. In these cases, the items were successfully returned to their owners.
Last quarter, nearly 200 items passed through the lost and found. Almost 100 items were turned in within the first four weeks of this quarter.
But all this stuff isn’t piling up in a corner, year after year. The security staff donates a majority of the items in lost and found at the end of each quarter. Flashdrives are distributed throughout campus departments for student use.
Textbooks are sold and the money is donated to the Pierce Foundation, which provides scholarships to students. Cell phones are donated to a domestic violence program so victims can have phones to dial 911.
“Everything is donated at the end of the quarter, except umbrellas,” Rickertsen said. “We like to keep those around in case it rains and someone needs one.”
The only item donated before the end of the quarter is money. A few days after money is turned in, it’s given to the Pierce Foundation.
If someone comes to the lost and found looking for misplaced money, it most likely won’t be there after about one week. In those cases, after giving substantial proof that the money was yours, the Pierce Foundation will write you a check. This process is expected to take about three weeks.
One thing to be aware of is that when items like phones or flashdrives are turned in, they are not looked through to find out who the owner is. If you find you’ve lost your cell phone, call it. If someone in the security office hears it ringing, they will answer, but they’re not going to scroll through your contacts list to try and find out who you are and how to get in contact with you.
Security officers do look through cell phones for numbers but don’t plug in flash drives to find the owner because the office’s computer got a virus by doing that one time.
Most of the things found in the lost and found are discovered by custodians while they clean the campus at night. In these cases, they leave the items in the security office and then they’re filed the following morning.
So if you lose something and it hasn’t been turned in to the lost and found on that day, check again the next day. A custodian may have found it.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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