Towel theft epidemic continues at Mayborn Campus Center

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells

For Crusaders that frequent Mayborn Campus Center, the little white towels with a blue stripe are a common sight. The question of “would you like a towel?” posed by the attendants at the front desk begs a deeper inquiry of workout-hopefuls: Can you handle the responsibility of using one of our towels? And the answer, more often than you’d think, is no. Not only are Mayborn towels strewn carelessly over equipment and the gym floor, but they are also forgotten over shoulders and accidentally taken home.

Caleb Damron, Operations Manager at Mayborn, has been brainstorming ways with his coworkers to reduce the amount of towels that disappear monthly. “We lose about 70 towels a month between the fall and spring semesters between damaged and missing towels.”
That adds up to 280 towels a semester.
Right now, Mayborn’s biggest defense against accidental towel theft is the watchful eyes of the front desk attendants. The campus center employees offer helpful reminders when they notice a little blue stripe over the shoulder of an exiting gym patron.
“We’d like to get towel disappearances down to 20 a month,” Damron said.
But Mayborn can’t do it without the help of the student body. Sophomore nursing major, Lauren Cater said she has accidentally left the gym with a towel after a workout.

“I have twice,” she admits. “But I can’t take them back…it would be weird if I just brought back their towels after having them for months.”
How many students feel the same way Cater does, stifled by the shame of their grievances and too afraid of condemnation to come clean?
Luckily, there’s hope. Damron offers an open, nonjudgmental invitation to return the towels, free of ridicule.
“If you notice you made it home with a towel, bring it back the next time you come in. And if you realize you have some at home, just bring them back.”

Cater has a suggestion for Mayborn that could lessen their monthly disappearances and cultivate positive feelings about returning a towel.
“I think they should have a [forgotten towel] bucket, so they can count the number of towels that are returned. That way, returning towels would feel more acceptable.”
“I think that would be a great idea,” said Cater. “It would be funny to advertise for a day to give towels back.”
The Mayborn staff has a lot of tricks up their sleeves when it comes to towel returns, but their biggest request is for the students to simply bring them back.

Author: Tori Van Hooser

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