March 2-8, 2001
Back Issues
Nighthawks at the University -- photo
Budget standoff forces hiring, spending, building freezes
Kuwait conference reviews history, aftermath
Magnet therapy shows limited pain relief

Panel considers fate of the individual in the face of technological media

U.Va. at night: a blend of tranquility and trauma
Class of 2001 hosts first reception honoring staff
In Memoriam
Hot Links — University Press of Virginia
Bookmark March 21-25
Women's health festival to focus on prevention
U.Va. conference to give voice to music silenced by Hitler
They take the cake
Staff Appreciation Week
Patrick Gantz
U.Va. employees and student organizers celebrated the first-ever Staff Appreciation Week, sponsored by the fourth-year class, at a reception Feb. 21. Among those attending were (left to right, front): Jeff Goodell, Brijim Kastberg and Stacie Schultz; and (left to right, back) Sarah Reid, Sachin Nagrani, Carolyn Laquatra, Stephanie Hsu and Ralph Richardson.

Class of 2001 hosts first reception honoring staff

By Dan Heuchert

They just wanted to say "thank you."

The Class of 2001 spent a week handing out "Staff Appreciation Week" buttons to students and invitations to staff members, asking them to come to a Feb. 21 reception in their honor at Alumni Hall. They mailed them out, too, hundreds to Housing and Dining Services and Facilities Management employees.

With financial help from the offices of the president and vice president for student affairs and the Alumni Association, they ordered food for 500. When the day arrived, barely 50 attended in the first hour. Brijin Kastberg, a gardener who works in the pavilion gardens, was one of those who came, along with several of her colleagues. She smiled as she sampled the plentiful hors d'oeuvres and surveyed the mammoth sheet cake, its white frosting inscribed "With Greatest Appreciation" in blue icing.

"I think it's awesome," she said, "I think more people should be here. Seven thousand people work at the University. More people should be here."

At another table, a housekeeper echoed her sentiments. "It's nice. They should have it," he said. "It should be twice a year."

Despite the low turnout, the organizers remained resolutely upbeat.

"We're hoping to make this a tradition," said Stephanie Hsu, who chairs the fourth-year class' service committee and planned Staff Appreciation Week. "I believe the staff at U.Va. is underappreciated."

The event had personal significance to her. Her grandparents, she said, were janitors in Seattle after emigrating from China.

The Staff Appreciation Week acronym, "SAW," emblazoned on the orange-and-blue buttons handed out to the students had double meaning, she pointed out. They also represented vision, as in "I saw what you're doing and I appreciate it," she said.

Fourth-year class president M. Andrew Davis has a similar appreciation for the hard-working staff. He is one — he drives buses for the University Transit Service.

"I love it when people say, 'thanks for the ride,'" he said. "It makes you feel good about what you're doing here, that you helped someone."

Marcus Anderson, a housekeeper in Brown College, was one of those who was handed an invitation, came and enjoyed it.

"It was a nice event," he said as he left. "It's sad they couldn't get everybody to turn out."


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