A backpack disappeared from the Spaulding Gymnasium under mysterious circumstances on Friday, April 7.

Late Thursday night, KSC student junior Jake Genest left his backpack in the gym. A student worker spotted the bag and took it behind Spaulding’s front desk for safekeeping.

When Genest returned Friday morning to reclaim his forgotten bag, the gym staff discovered that it had disappeared. Genest’s bag contained a laptop, an essential tool for every college student.

Photo illustration by Luke stergiou

Photo illustration by Luke stergiou

Spaulding Gym student employee David Dunham said valuables like Genest’s laptop do not get lost or stolen often. According to Dunham, a valuable item gets left behind maybe once a month. The items that usually get left behind are shirts, shorts and reusable water bottles. By the end of the year, Spaulding Gym has around 100 water bottles floating in its lost and found.

Dunham said shirts, shoes and shorts that are not picked up by the end of the year get donated to Planet Aid, a non-profit organization that recycles and sells used textiles.

Expensive items that get left behind are transported to and locked in the assistant director’s office. A student who comes by the front desk to retrieve their lost item must be able to prove that the item is theirs.

If nobody comes to claim the item, the staff gives it to Campus Safety, Dunham said.

According to KSC Director of Recreational Sports Lynne Andrews, this didn’t happen to Genest’s bag because Spaulding’s staff was unaware of its contents.

Andrews said it’s hard to tell who took Genest’s bag. According to Andrews, there is a reported theft maybe once or twice a semester. She said she knows the bag was in Spaulding Gym when they locked up for the night and that it had disappeared when her staff returned in the morning.

“It’s hard to gauge who’s in the building after we close for the night,” Andrews said. “Usually, it’s just the cleaning staff and maybe the sports teams, but they usually don’t come in.”

She said when and if KSC’s sports teams decide to come into Spaulding after close, it’s when they’re returning from an away game. If the athletes come inside, they go to the locker room and then leave.

Spaulding Gym’s staff encourages students to use a cubby to lock up their personal items while they’re working out instead of putting their belongings on the bench underneath the gym’s cubbies.

Students can also register and use a permanent locker in one of Spaulding’s locker rooms, they just have to provide a lock.

Things still get stolen despite the gym’s efforts to get students to lock up their stuff. Andrews said this usually happens because someone stores their items in a locker without a lock, “but it’s rare.”

When this happens, the staff responds by posting signs in the locker rooms that alert students of the theft and remind them to lock up their personal items.

The thief’s identity remains a mystery. Jake Genest was unavailable to make a statement for this story.

Alex Fleming can be contacted at afleming@kscequinox.com