According to the Castleton University website, part of our school’s mission and the Castleton Way is “to appreciate our learned and compassionate faculty and dedicated and caring staff.” This is something our students are sometimes forgetting when it comes to our hardworking staff.
One Huden Dining Hall worker, who asked to remain anonymous, has expressed the experience of a sever. From being misgendered to constantly being near students who have their masks below their chin, as if somehow coronavirus doesn’t exist when taking their order, working in Huden this semester has been quite eventful, the person said.
This person has received rude remarks and glares from students when placing intricate orders.
This is not a unique experience, although staff members on campus didn’t want to talk about how they are sometimes treated by students, possibly because they didn’t want to throw any student under the bus, or maybe because they feared for their job security.
But just because many are not speaking up doesn’t mean this is not an issue. Personally, I have terrible vision, but I can still see when students actively ignore custodial staff and avoid them like the plague in my dorm.
I can hear the snarky remarks about a worker’s physical appearance when waiting in line at Fireside. Even our society disrespects people in these roles. There are so many stereotypes, such as the mean lunch lady and the lousy janitor, that some Castleton students see these stereotypes as reality. So many students don’t stop and say thank you or wave, pretending that exist.
We are now over a year into the pandemic, which started with toilet paper hogging and has continued with medical care for the virus being a political argument. Tragedies are supposed to bring people together, like hurricane Katrina and Sandy brought neighbors and even distant states to unite and help each other, but not even a global pandemic can bring us together or move us to more kindness now.
If anything, it seems as if everyone is just as rude as before, if not ruder and more distant.
Castleton students need to do better. It costs nothing to wave and acknowledge the existence of the backbone of the university. Ask the workers at Huden how their day is. Compliment your custodial staff’s cleaning abilities. Say thank you. Have manners, show respect, and appreciate all the work they do. Follow COVID guidelines to protect not just fellow students, but the staff, including work study students and non-students alike.
And thank you to staff of Facilities, Huden, Fireside, and Coffee Cottage, Conferences and Events, Residence Life, Public Safety, Mail Room, IT Services, Library, Financial Aid and Admissions, and everyone else who helps keep Castleton a great environment for professors and students alike.