Hey, that’s my calculator!

In a small room inside the Native American Student and Community Center, there is table after table of garbage–and all of it’s for sale.

In a small room inside the Native American Student and Community Center, there is table after table of garbage–and all of it’s for sale.

Thursday was the start of the Campus Public Safety Office’s Lost and Found sale, that special time of year when the safety office unloads all the crap that Portland State students lose throughout the year, including countless umbrellas, flash drives and most disconcertingly, some medical equipment.

This is where your lost items go when they die. Sent to purgatory–only to be resurrected and resold to other students–until they are lost again and resold once more. Such is the circle of life.

The first thing noticeable when entering the sale in the Chief Joseph Room is that PSU students have horrible taste in music. An older man shopping the sale agreed and uttered out loud to no one in particular, “It shows you the poor taste of the students.”

Scattered on the table are CDs by Machine Head and someone called Mix Master Wolf, and a Wombstrecha the Magnificent album that was probably lost by Wombstrecha himself. (Who else would buy a Wombstrecha album?)

Bizarrely, there was also a leather cassette case (do those still exist?), which had inside it carefully organized tapes by Yaz, Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys and New Order. Exactly how old are these lost items?

Not that old, according to Stacy Potter, the Public Safety office specialist who was working the sale. Most of the items had been sitting on the lost and found shelf since the last sale a year and a half ago. What’s frightening is that there was recently a PSU student strutting around campus with a leather tape case full of 1980s euro-trash dance music. If the owner of the case is reading this, you should be ashamed of yourself.

So what happens if you venture into the sale and see that calculator or umbrella you thought you lost? Well, you’d be shit out of luck. Public Safety doesn’t allow claims on the items. So, Andrew Tung, you know that lunchbox you lost with your name on it? Consider it gone.

Potter said this has never been a problem, but it’s not hard to see how it could be. It would be extremely annoying if you were forced to re-buy a calculator that you had lost when it has your name written prominently on it.

Mulling over the merchandise, it’s easy to start imagining how it all got lost. There’s a box of single roller blades (drunk driving accident), dirty backpacks (hobo attack), and most uncomfortably, a glucose monitor and blind person’s walking stick.

“It makes you kind of wonder how they lost it,” Potter said of the walking stick.

Could it be that there is a blind diabetic lost somewhere on campus or stuck in a bush? If you are missing your walking stick and are reading this, you might want to be more careful next time.

Not all of the items are junk. If you need a scientific calculator or a thumb drive, you can pick one up for a few bucks. But most of the higher-quality items, including a leather jacket and guitar amp, had already been purchased just a few hours after the sale started.

Any unsold items after the sale ends today will be donated to local charities, Potter said, and the money earned will go into the Campus Public Safety account. The sale only happens about once every year, so if you need to get your thrift store fix in between classes, check it out.

Lost an item? Well don’t wait for it to be hawked at next year’s Lost and Found sale. Check out www.lostandfound.pdx.edu for a list of lost items turned into the Campus Public Safety Office.

The Lost and Found sale continues today in the Native American Student and Community Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.