Fairbanks’ population is very diverse. About 70% of the inhabitants are not from Alaska. Each year new Fairbanksans arrive. Most of them come in via the airport. There are two times of the year when there is a big arrival: In July, when new military arrives and in fall when the new students arrive to study at the university.
Most of the students arrive by plane even when they are in-state students as Alaska has hardly any road system. That means the new students can only bring a limited amount of baggage or they have to pay expensive overload. Not a very likely option for a student. When they purchased a one-way ticket, they are allowed 50kg (~110lb). Even then, they cannot bring an entire household, plus bedding for the dorms, plus warm winter gear. Moreover, it is not very wise to buy cold weather clothing for Fairbanks prior to arrival, especially, when one lived in the subtropics or Tropics. What is called “winter clothing” there is the recipe her to get hypothermia and frost bite in Fairbanks. Forty below zero are cruel with the wrong equipment and even then nobody’s favorite weather except you do research on the impacts of such temperatures on what ever.
Cold weather clothing suitable for Fairbanks winters is expensive and not necessarily another expense students want/can make in a time when their highest priority is to buy the books for the classes and pay their tuition and fees.
At the university, Charu Uppal spearheads a great Winter Warm-up free market event for the students. The idea is that people from the university and community donate clean, usable items like apparel, household goods, cookware, bikes, or sporting equipment that they no longer use. The donors drop off their items on campus at the collection points like in room 206 of the Eielson building or the Elvy Building’s Globe Room on Friday September 13, 2013 in the morning. For further collection points call Charu at 474-7588. On the next day September 14, 2013, folks can still drop off items from 9 am till11 pm and students can come to pick up the free stuff at the Hess Recreation Center that is located in Moore-Bartlett-Skarland dorm complex from 11 am – 1 pm.
I think this Winter Warm Up event is a great idea. I already went through my closet and have two large lawn bags ready for donation. For the students, this free market event is a great opportunity to get warm and Fairbanks suitable winter clothing to face the school year in style. Yes, the first flurries may fly as early as mid September and snow may last until early May, which is the entire school year. There is no other university in the US where you are well dressed and fashionable with clothing for just one season. The only thing you have to do is to warm up for winter.
Copyright 2013 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved