Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
The third week of September is EVS Appreciation Week at Swarthmore, and while it is a low-key event, it is significant for many members of the community.
Environmental Services Supervisor Patti Shields explains, “[EVS Appreciation Week] is the recognition of service staff internationally within the industry for Environmental Services, Housekeepers, and Janitors.”
EVS Appreciation Week was instituted several years ago at Swarthmore to show appreciation for EVS staff and the work that they do all year long. “We have done several things in the past: a small get together at the end of the week (a luncheon/BBQ)…[and] we have also given gifts out during the week,” Shields said. “This year is scaled back some due to budget constraints, but we were still able to recognize the week on a smaller scale while being responsible with the budget. We also [hung] a banner outside of McCabe and put signs up around campus.”
This week also coincides with the Learning 4 Life program’s kickoff week for the year.
Learning 4 Life (L4L) is a Lang Center sponsored organization on campus that pairs matches up students with staff members at the college and the partners pursue projects together such as fitness and radio shows. Hillary Hamilton ’12, one of the three L4L Coordinators, describes, “The idea is that they work on projects together and it allows students to get to know a completely different aspect on campus.” L4L was a Lang Opportunity Scholarship and is now celebrating their ten-year anniversary.
In summary, EVS Appreciation Week is a commemoration of staff members’ year-long work for the college. For Swarthmore students, Shields emphasizes, “Be sure to help us celebrate the week by saying thank you to your technician and … be respectful of the beautiful spaces on campus and remember someone has to clean it up, not just this week, but all year long.”