Appreciate the workers who keep the campus running

February 9, 2018

After the heavy snow on Wednesday, we would like to thank the facilities workers who worked relentlessly to make the campus safer for us. Despite complaints from students of slow responses to snow buildup or ice, behind the scenes, facilities staff members work tirelessly to keep walkways passable during times that students may be asleep or inside waiting for the bad weather to pass. The Hoot Editorial Board encourages everyone to recognize their efforts and show their appreciation for the people who keep our school running.

Additionally, we would like to thank other Brandeis and Sodexo staff who commute to and from campus in bad weather to ensure students have access to dining and other services on campus, even when classes are canceled. Without these essential members of the Brandeis community, our campus would not effectively function.

We should appreciate facilities workers even on days without snow. Students must be conscious of all members of the Brandeis community by cleaning up after ourselves, respecting common areas in residence halls and practicing patience, gratitude and kindness.

Areas like the library and common rooms do not appear spotless and clean every morning by themselves. When students leave wrappers or dirty plates in communal spaces like the tables in lower Usdan or in lounges of residence halls, it reads as a lack of respect for the large group of people who work hard everyday for the students’ benefit.

Just as professors arrive on campus each morning ready to teach, facilities staff arrive ready to keep us safe, fed and comfortable. We must exercise empathy and compassion for all members of our community, even by taking the time to say hello or thank you. Regardless of background or occupation, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

This is especially important in the wake of the sudden passing of Sodexo Food Service Manager Rick Gobbi, who always went the extra mile to connect with and help others. Beyond being an incredibly kind figure, he took the time to ensure students’ needs were met. As the community is navigating a difficult loss, we need to be especially careful of how we treat all workers and each other. Facilities and dining service staff work to keep the campus up and running even in trying times, and student appreciation is a small yet impactful way to spread positivity.

First-years and Student Union members have mentioned plans to organize a staff appreciation event to honor the hard work these underappreciated members of our community have contributed to the daily life of Brandeis students. We, The Brandeis Hoot Editorial Board, believe that having such an event would be an important step toward recognizing the dedication of the Brandeis staff.

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