Thanks to those who make NU go

Matt Baker

As evident by students’ waning attention spans and freshman piling on a dozen layers of clothes, Thanksgiving is in sight. Since the holiday gives us the opportunity to acknowledge all of the little things we take for granted, I want to thank Northwestern’s cornucopia of employees who make the university tick but never get the recognition they deserve.

Our maintenance staff has ensured that our heating units pump out enough warm air to keep icicles from collecting on our laptops during the recent freezing nights. NU’s fleet of bus drivers routinely saves students from trekking from The Arch to Tech in the whipping wintry wind, exposing themselves to the cold every time they open the door.

A crew of courageous groundskeepers will plow our sidewalks and shovel off doorways when Lake Michigan dumps a foot of snow on us in January. While we whine about having to cross the street for dinner, these workers will have snow blown in their face for hours and not complain at all – just so we can make it to class on time.

Custodians keep our homes clean by sweeping carpets, emptying trash cans and scrubbing showers daily. Sure, it might be a hassle when the cleaning lady is mopping the bathroom floor and we have to wait an extra five minutes to brush our teeth, but I definitely don’t want to live in a building teeming with bacteria due to lack of care. Thanks for keeping us healthy and making our floors sparkle.

Although police officers have come under fire lately, incidents would be much more prevalent if cops did not patrol campus or respond to every blue light immediately. Besides risking their lives every shift, officers take students to the hospital and make themselves visible by doling out business cards should we ever need help.

TAs bend their office hours as necessary to meet with students to teach them how to explain concepts or decipher a professor’s ramblings. What makes this remarkable is that they do this in addition to their own classwork and conducting their own research. While I might not agree with every grade they scrawl on my bluebook, I admire their willingness to do anything to help us learn.

Card swipers at dining halls exchange small talk brilliantly and dish out a smile alongside our meals. The kitchen staff keeps our facilities sanitary and cooks deliver tasty, nutritious dishes three times a day. And when problems arise, administrators are quick to correct them by catering to every student’s needs.

Security monitors sacrifice their weekends to keep us safe. Mail clerks keep us in touch with our families back home. Professors give us the knowledge we need to enter the workforce. Advisers give us the letters of recommendation and counsel to guide us on our career paths. And the list goes on.

As visions of drumsticks and cranberry sauce dance in our heads this next week, I speak for the entire student body by addressing the everyday people who make NU run smoothly.

Thank you.

Matt Baker is a Medill sophomore. He can be reached at [email protected]