Repair Clinic

Free repair clinic.  Volunteers will help fix clothing, backpacks and more.

What is the Repair Clinic?

Twice an academic year, faculty and staff volunteers gather for a two-hour session to fix students' rips and missing buttons, jammed zippers, broken glasses, backpack straps and much more.  This service is absolutely free to any GVSU student.  At each clinic, we try to repair as much as we can for as many as we can.  So far, over 526 services have been performed at Repair Clinics.

Knitting instruction on site with yarn and knitting needles learners may keep.

Snacks and small giveaways. 

Advisors on hand to talk about any academic or scheduling questions you may have.

When is the Next Repair Clinic?

The next Repair Clinic is not yet scheduled.


So that you do not miss the announcement of dates for Repair Clinics, follow @CLAScomm on Twitter or @GVSUCLAS on Facebook.


Faculty and Staff Volunteer Repairers

We need current GVSU employees who can sew (hand or machine) or knit, handy people ready to glue or wrestle with jammed zippers, greeters, advisors.  If you would like to assist at a future repair clinic, please fill out this easy online form.  Please do not fill out the form if you are not a GVSU current employee.

Clinics are typically held 6-8 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are you people?  GV faculty and staff know that students can do their best when free of pesky distractions like a hole in a backpack.  The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Housing teamed up to provide this service.  Many others on campus from librarians to faculty and staff across campus soon joined CLAS and Housing to make a difference for our students.


Why are advisors on site?  We hold the clinics at times that students may need some input from advisors (after midterm grades are in or just before registration for the next year begins).  We find that students often come in for a clothing repair, but manage to get an advising question answered, too.


Who is paying for this?  The participating GV faculty and staff have brought in their own sewing machines and tools and have donated the materials needed to make repairs.  We remember our own student days.  Housing graciously helps us by providing some healthy snacks. The Sustainability Reinvestment Fund gave us a grant in 2019 which helped us top up our supplies so that we can be ready to repair a wider variety of things at the clinic.


How can I learn some of these skills?  We encourage you to watch while your repair is being made.  Volunteers will be happy to talk you through how they are approaching the repair.  If there is any spare time, we'd be happy to teach you the basics.  Knitting instruction is usually on-going during the two hour session (pausing to help us with any sweater repairs).  Students interested in more in-depth instruction in sewing can access many free online videos, beginner classes at local fabric stores, or even a rigorous course in costumes offered by Grand Valley's Music, Theatre, and Dance Department.  You might even find that one of the repairers would be willing to get you started (we like to share our passion for sewing).


Is this only for undergrads?  We love graduate students, too. In fact, we find that graduate students' backpacks have more miles on them and may be in more need of repair than those of first year students!


My question is not on this list!  Feel free to send your question to [email protected].

Preparing for October 24.  Photo by Renee Zettle Sterling
repair CLinic 10/24/2018 hand sewing table. Photo by Sherril Soman
Image of Jamillya Hardley (Housing)  and Professor Van Wormer  at the first clinic
Professor Russell teaches knitting at the repair clinic
Janet Potgeter assisting a student at the Spring 2018 Repair Clinic in Holton Hooker Living Center

Page last modified May 2, 2023