The University of Arkansas at Monticello will host a grand opening for the Weevil House of Garments (WHOG), which will contain professional attire for current students to access free.


WHOG will officially open at noon Thursday, Sept. 26, and the event is open to the public.


The new student resource began when a need was identified for students to have appropriate clothing for job interviews, professional events and in the workforce, according to a news release.


“Any time we see a barrier to our students succeeding, I want to know we can address it,” UAM Chancellor Karla Hughes said.


Emily Ashley and Renea McClendon came to her to see how UAM could provide this resource to students and the Weevil House of Garments was born, the chancellor said.


Ashley led a committee created to develop the project, including members of UAM faculty and staff — Ashley, Kathy Anderson, Colleen Hammock, Tyler Harrison, Stephanie Harton, Marie Jenkins, Roberta Thomas, Annette Vincent, along with students — Garianna Booker, Grace Lee and Kaylyn Smith.


“The team has been working diligently since last spring to make this happen,” Hughes said. “Since Residence A was empty, it was the perfect location. I can’t say enough about Emily’s leadership. She has been the driving force.”


The WHOG is located in a house on campus at 459 University Drive beside the tennis courts. University physical plant staff prepared the house for its new purpose, building a specialized donation bin, cleaning and power washing and setting up the interior.


Students may select two professional outfits per month, which is free and remains theirs. Clothing has been donated by people connected to the college and from several community members.


“We are grateful for those who have already contributed to this project,” Ashley said. “It just shows how dedicated Drew County is to our students.”


Donations of hangers, dress shoes (all sizes), accessories like belts, ties and jewelry, can be made at any time. New personal care items are also accepted. A large donation box is located under the carport at the WHOG.


“This has been one of my favorite projects,” Ashley said. “Being able to provide our students with professional clothing for interviews or existing jobs has become a passion. I always love to see the ways the community and UAM come together, and it has been no different with this project.”


Following the grand opening Sept. 26, business hours for Weevil House of Garments will be Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. Students will need to bring their UAM ID.


For volunteering opportunities at the WHOG or for students who have urgent needs outside of operating hours, contact Emily Ashley in the UAM chancellor’s office at 870-460-1762.