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SGA gives thanks to custodial staff

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 00:04


Aimee Breaux — THE BATTALION

Student Body President John Claybrook talks with A&M custodial workers at the banquet put on Student Government Association on Monday in the MSC Ballroom.

Seven years after 35 custodians were invited to the first annual Custodian Appreciation Luncheon, Fish Aides opened the MSC Ballroom doors on Monday to its largest number of custodians to date —535.

Student Body President John Claybrook said the luncheon provides an opportunity for SGA to get behind a single cause, thanking those who keep the campus running.

“A year ago from now, we wanted all of SGA to be a part of thanking our custodians on campus,” Claybrook said.

With music and dancing going on behind her at the luncheon, Sydney Robertson, director of Fish Aides and junior business major, said the $5,000 raised from this increased fundraising is what enabled Fish Aides — the group that spearheaded the event — to pay for the extra costs associated with the increased attendance size. Robertson also said this year marks progress that will continue in years to come.

“It’s definitely been a learning year,” Robertson said. “We’ve had a lot of chaos and areas where we can improve, but it’s been exciting to see this expand.”

Standing in front of a themed banner that read, “You are our superheroes,” Reid Joseph, student body president elect, addressed the luncheon attendees with words of appreciation.

“Think about A&M without this group in a day, in a week, what would it look like?” Joseph said. “It wouldn’t be pretty, would it? One of the defining things about the Aggie family is selfless service, it’s part of our core values, and I can tell you, with the group I am looking at, I would be hard-pressed to find a better representation of selfless service than you all.”

Louis Hartmann, who attended the luncheon with his wife and fellow custodian Brenda Hartman, said while the University has supported them for fifteen-plus years in College Station, they are glad students recognize the hard work custodians do.

“I’m glad they put this on for us,” Hartmann said. “It’s very hard, I think, for students to get things organized, and when they do, their appreciation shows in what they do for us.”

Robertson said students organized the event but help was not limited solely to students.

“[We’ve had] a lot of support from family and friends and faculty,” Robertson said. “We had a ton of support from all over campus, and it was so encouraging and motivating.”

As a means of keeping this event an annual happening, Robertson said students who want to show their appreciation should get involved with fundraising that goes along with next year’s luncheon. Robertson also said that giving simple letters to custodians can be a way to show appreciation.

“I think there is a ton of power in personalized ‘thank you’ cards,” Robertson said. “Luckily we were able to give everyone here a ‘thank you’ card, but if people were able to do that on a regular basis, that would be huge.”


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