Editorial: Benefitting from the work of UConn’s service workers is a privilege, not a right 

Katie Nguyen, 5th semester, works at the Information Center in the Student Union. The position includes helping with directions or answering any questions that students or visitors may have about UConn, and is one of many positions filled by students. Photo by Erin Knapp/The Daily Campus.

Whether it’s at the mailrooms, dining halls, residence halls or anywhere else on campus, there are people working to better the experience of everyone living here at Storrs, and they deserve the utmost respect. 

When it comes to mailrooms, both at the warehouse and in residence halls, we as students need to realize that everyone who works there is trying their absolute best to make the process as quick as possible. Giving these workers a hard time not only makes the process slower for everyone, but contributes to a culture that harms everyone involved. Behavior such as going to the mailroom with the full knowledge that you haven’t gotten a confirmation email yet or starting a full-blown argument with an employee is not needed. 

In the residence halls, many types of staff work diligently to provide the best living experience possible for all residents. For example, resident assistants work round-the-clock to make sure everyone is safe. Deliberately pushing the boundaries of the rules gives them unnecessary work. Thus, your actions affect other people. There are many ways to party or enjoy yourself in the dorms without giving RAs a headache, or worse. 

Also in the residence halls, cleaning staff aren’t there to pick up your litter. Leaving things in the bathroom and not cleaning up after yourself are not only disgusting, but also extremely disrespectful. While some may think it’s funny to take shopping carts from Downtown Storrs and leave them on campus, unless you’re returning them to where they came from, you’re making someone else do that for you, and that’s just rude. 

The last places we’ll touch on are dining halls and cafes. First of all, just like with the residences, clean up after yourself. Understand that anywhere serving food is occasionally going to experience shortages, long lines, waits and other interruptions in the speed and quality of service. Rarely are these the fault or responsibility of the many service workers who are just doing their jobs. We need to keep this in mind, be respectful and use manners; it’s really simple and easy to do. 

The UConn community, just like any other, is a collaboration. We’re all in this together, and that includes everyone. If you disrespect those who work to make your college experience better, you’re not participating in that collaboration, you’re simply making everything about you. There really isn’t much to ask on this topic, as common courtesies should be just that: Common. However, disrespect for fellow members of the Storrs community happens far too often, and we all need to acknowledge that the services provided by UConn staff are all a privilege given to us by them. If people are going to act like they’re entitled to the hard work of UConn staff on their behalf even if they treat them badly, they don’t belong in this community. 

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