Dining Staff Appreciation Day

Official Dosomething.org Project

The Problem

I approached my boss, the Campus Events Director at Washington College about creating a day, or hosting an event for the dining staff. I got the idea after talking with one of the staff members, who made a point of saying that even at staff, faculty and support staff dinners and parties, they never get to relax and be served. The dining hall staff at Washington College are incredible friendly, great at and dedicated to their jobs. They work HARD, and from what I hear are not paid nearly as much. It is rumored that local fastfood restaurants pay more than the college. As a result of these factors, some, or most, have picked up second jobs. I saw one staff member at Pizza Hut working one afternoon. I want to make this event bigger, and expand it to include the housekeeping, secretarial, and buildings and grounds staff. The issue I want to correct is the fact that support staff members are the ones who keep the big operation running smoothly, and they are terribly undervalued. I want their presence on campus to garner more respect, appreciation and attention.

Plan of Action

My project is Dining Staff Appreciation Day. I spoke with and brainstormed ideas about the event with my coworkers. We decided to serve the staff members desert on Tuesday, April 29th. I booked the room, and on the day before the event, set up tables, chairs and tablecloths. Though there was some deception involved, because I wanted the event to be a secret (the staff's boss told them there was an mandatory meeting for the same time and place as the event), it went off without a hitch. My coworkers: the Campus Events Director and Coordinator, the President and several secretaries volunteered their time and money to make various kinds of desserts for the event, and a few (including the president and his spouse) stayed and helped to serve the staff members. In the cafeteria, there is a napkin board where students can write their appreciation for the staff and also make suggestions for food. I acquired a bag of napkins, and delivered them to the various academic buildings. With the help of the secretaries, the faculty signed and wrote encouraging and thankful things for the staff. I went to an Resident Assistant meeting, and asked the Resident Assistant Directors to disseminate napkins around their zones for the same purpose. On the day of the event, I placed the napkins around the middle of the tables as a center piece, then placed the leftover ones on the napkin board for all to see!

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