The first few weeks of the new semester are always a whirlwind of catching up with friends, starting classes and getting organized as we make ourselves at home in Wooster. Amidst all the chaos of a fresh year, it can be difficult to be mindful of all the moving pieces at work to make our transition back to school smooth and comfortable. Behind the scenes and right in front of us, staff members work hard every moment to keep our campus clean and beautiful, feed us and make it possible for us to focus our energies on our education and our relationships with each other. At the beginning of the semester, it’s important to make commitments to actions that will ensure we are being as good of friends to our staff members as they are to us. 

When it comes to moving in, keep containers and furniture out of hallways. Large boxes should be broken down and taken directly to the recycling bins outside, and trash bags from dorm room receptacles should also be deposited in the dumpsters instead of hallway trash cans. Make sure to take note of when the bathrooms on your floor are cleaned and to stay out of the bathrooms during those times. Excess paper towels and toilet paper belong in the trash and not on the floor. 

In Lowry, pick up after yourself — it only takes a few additional moments to wipe fallen food onto your plate, return condiments to the storage rack and move tables and chairs back to their original spots if you rearranged them. If you spill food as you are serving it to yourself, clean it up, even if it creates a momentary pause in the line. 

Outside, avoid walking on the grass or in the flower beds and remain on designated pathways so that the efforts of the grounds crew can continue to flourish. Clear the way when a grounds crew vehicle has a job to do and a place to be. 

Most importantly, say “please” and “thank you” in every interaction you have with a staff member (and every interaction you have with other humans in general). Say hello, ask how their day is going and learn names if you can. Participate in activities meant for thanking our staff and showing them how much we appreciate everything they do. There are opportunities all around us to get to know the people we live and work at the College with — when you’re getting food in Lowry, buying coffee in Knowlton, Old Main or the C-store between classes, walking across campus or simply spending time around your dorm. They are as much a part of our experience here as we are of theirs.

 Claire Wineman, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at