Last Sunday, our country observed Veteran's Day?a day on which Americans reflect on the sacrifices of the soldiers who have served throughout our history and those who continue to do so today. Because modern military conflicts tend to happen overseas, it is easy to forget those who work hard so we can live safely and comfortably. But recognizing their service is important.
Of course, American military personnel are not the only ones who work hard to preserve the safety and comfort of Bowdoin students, nor are they the only ones deserving of our gratitude. While employees of the College rarely put their lives on the line in the course of duty, they make a difference in all of our lives, every day. As we prepare for Thanksgiving Break, we take this chance to acknowledge the tireless efforts of our own troopers?the Bowdoin staff.
Students who ate dinner at Moulton or Thorne dining halls yesterday evening can appreciate the thoughtfulness and hard work that went into preparing a Thanksgiving Day feast for some 1,600 students. Beyond the food, which exceeded the school's already lofty standards, the decorations invoked an intimate family dinner?a touch that undoubtedly took extra effort from the Dining Service staff, but one that made a real difference to those students who aren't heading home for the holiday. From soliciting recipes for students' favorite comfort foods over Parents' Weekend to swiping cards with a smile on Monday mornings, the Dining Service staff constantly goes the extra mile to make students feel at home.
The Dining Service is not the only group of staff members that deserve recognition. If the staff at Moulton and Thorne makes us feel at home, the housekeeping and facilities personnel make us feel like dignitaries, providing us services that even Mom would not consider. Housekeepers clean our bathrooms, vacuum our hallways, empty our trash cans, and?if we've taken the time to get to know them?ask us about our days. The facilities staff responds to work order after work order, performing repairs as mundane as changing light bulbs without complaint.
There are countless other Bowdoin staffers to whom we owe thanks. Bowdoin Security, librarians, counselors, coaches, deans, staff members at the health center, and many others devote themselves daily to maintain our comfort and safety. Unlike the men and women of our country's armed forces, they do it not on distant shores but on our campus, in our presence. In this season of Thanksgiving, we propose a companion to the "Bowdoin hello": the Bowdoin thank-you.