As the semester ends for all, seniors are facing this coming graduation weekend with a mixture of trepidation, anticipation, apathy, and excitement. For the seniors and their families, Saturday will prove to be a busy (hopefully enjoyable) time to reflect upon the past four years and look towards the future for what will come.
For the Keene State College Sodexo, Unicco, grounds, R.O.C.K.S, and other workers who put in an immense amount of time and energy into the success of the day, Saturday will be a day of setting up and cleaning up of chairs and tables, as well as recycling and litter picking the 1,171 water bottles set out for graduates.
Their hard work over the course of the month of April will culminate in the final ceremony where the graduates and their families will depart in the early afternoon. However, the campus employees working that day will remain until every water bottle is recycled and every piece of trash is disposed.
According to the Keene State College website, “In addition to staff from Sodexo and Unicco, at least 35 KSC staffers will work on Commencement Day to make it all happen, plus about 20 Campus Safety personnel.”
Generally unrecognized in the daily functions of the college, these employees are the backbone of the institution. Without them the college would cease to function as a cohesive unit—the DC would be empty of food, the trash and recycling containers would overflow, and the buildings would fall into unsanitary disrepair.
Perhaps no other day than graduation can serve as a reminder to us that these people are responsible for the solid groundwork upon which we operate.
The workings of a collegiate institution are much like the workings of a society; both are constructed from the hard manual labor provided by a select group of people. From the largest corporation to the smallest learning institution, each depends on an arguably underpaid and marginalized workforce to clean the bathrooms, pick up the trash, and make the daily lives of others run more smoothly.
As one attends the May 5 graduation ceremony, keep in mind the hours that were spent to make the running of the day flawless. Remember the people who remain invisible on the sidelines, waiting for the hoorays and congratulations to end and the parties to move elsewhere before resuming their important role in the maintenance of Keene State College.