VT introduces new lost, found system


Blacksburg, Va., Nov. 6 – Sourcing the Crowd: The newly implemented Crowdfind system being displayed on the Ipad at the welcome center in Squires offers a new innovative way of finding lost items. Photo: Anna Friesen / Collegiate Times

by Tyler Britt–-

Students and faculty who work for Student Engagement and Campus Life (SECL) can now rejoice as they no longer have to deal with the lost and found debacle.

This led to Virginia Tech implementing a new and improved system called Crowdfind. Not only did this help clear up all the items stored in the inventory, it also allows students to file claims for their lost belongings, rather than have someone else try to falsely claim the item up front.

According to Spencer Stidd, assistant director of operations at SECL, Virginia Tech partnered with Crowdfind in February 2016, but didn’t activate it until September of that year.

Crowdfind has expanded to five different locations throughout the campus, but everyone believes Squires is the primary site for the lost and found. Stidd noted that any items that are lost in classrooms or dining halls get immediately turned into Squires, where students log the items onto the system and publish them online. This new method has many workers at SECL including Virginia Tech sophomore Rohan Shah pleased by the instant success.

“It was exciting to hear a change was coming regarding the lost and found,” Shah said. “It’s not only helpful for us as workers, but it allows easier access for students to reclaim their items.”

Many of the student workers weren’t sure how impactful or successful Crowdfind would be, but Stidd ensured them it would make a huge difference compared to the previous system. And she was right. Since Crowdfind was implemented, the percentage rate of items returned to their owner increased from 13 percent to 26 percent.

“We believe it’s a good service. It’s getting some good traction for us right now, but I don’t know if everybody is fully aware of it yet,” Stidd said. “So from time to time, like if you lose something like else around campus. You can check here, and there is a chance that it will show up here.”

Students who wish to learn more about Crowdfind and how it works should check out the Virginia Tech Lost and Found page for additional information.


SECL Union Operations Corrdinator Molly Bower