The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Noticing the unnoticed

There are several members of the SMU staff that go reasonably unnoticed, or at least un-thanked. But without these people, our lifestyle at SMU would not be possible. These people often work behind the scenes, cleaning or preparing food, and are very rarely thanked by the student body.

Once a week, the sink in my bathroom is wiped down, and every day around 2 o’clock the community bathroom in my hall is slightly damp from being thoroughly cleaned. I have always known that someone works hard to make this happen, but I’ve never seen, met, nor thanked the person that does.

Very rarely have I walked into the cafeteria without being met with a smile and an enthusiastic greeting from the person who swipes my card. When I first got to SMU, I was frankly surprised and delighted by how happy all of the people that worked in the cafeteria were.

My only experiences in a cafeteria were in the public schools I grew up in, and in the university I transferred from. In both locations the cafeteria workers were not only unhappy, they were downright unpleasant. But, while writing this article, I am enjoying two freshly scrambled eggs made fresh and served to me with a smile. That is quite a nice change.

The people that prepare and serve the food, and then clean up after us when we are done eating it, are genuinely nice and are often eager to make sure that you have had a good day. But we should be asking them the same thing. They probably work harder in one day than we do in one week. I complain about having to go to classes and take tests, but if I had to scramble eggs for a long line of college students all day, I would probably be a lot less likely to get out of bed in the morning.

Imagine all of the difficulties we as college students make for those that work at SMU. Our bathrooms are disgusting because of our carelessness and because of the late night remnants of our wild partying, and we often leave crumbs and dishes all over the cafeteria because we are in too much of a hurry to clean up after ourselves.

Without those that clean up after us in our dorms, we would likely be showering in a moldy, vomit-covered bathroom. And without those that work in the cafeteria, we would probably resign ourselves to microwaving macaroni and cheese in a dirty microwave to sustain ourselves.

I really feel like we wouldn’t know what to do, or even where to begin, if all of these people were to disappear. How many of us know how to sanitize a bathroom, or would be able to make a nutritious meal without leaving out an ingredient or setting something on fire? Even when I clean my own bathroom at home my mother often has to come behind me and point out all of the spots that I have missed, or remind me to take something out of the oven before I set the kitchen ablaze.

It is so convenient that we do not have to worry about doing all of these things. We can focus on studying and can spend our free time with friends rather than spending it with a scrub-brush in our hand leaning over a dirty toilet.

Last year, when I was at my previous university, I lived in an apartment. I can honestly say that now, because I don’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning my bathroom, I have a lot more spare time. I don’t have to worry about making a grocery list, cutting coupons, and going to the store, nor do I have to worry about scrubbing my bathroom so that my guests don’t think less of me when they visit.

We often don’t appreciate the things that have always been provided for us, and that is unfortunate. We need to stop and look around as we go about our day and notice those that we haven’t noticed before. Thank the person that takes out the trash in your classrooms, cleans your bathroom, or serves you your food at lunch. They definitely deserve it.

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