To the workers who came in on Tuesday (or even spent the night on campus) during the blizzard:
I can’t thank you enough for being here. When I heard that some of you spent the night in Frist Campus Center in order to staff the dining halls in the morning, I was blown away. When I heard that others had driven to campus, despite the treacherous roads and day off that many other “non-essential personnel” received, I felt humbled and appreciative. These actions epitomize going above and beyond to take care of us students, and I’d like you to know that we recognize and appreciate it.
Last night, while I was finishing up assignments on the off-chance that my classes wouldn’t be cancelled, I heard someone working outside. It was 3:45 a.m., so at first I thought I was just hearing a student coming back late at night. When I looked out my window, though, I saw a man clearing a path outside my dorm, working through the snowfall. There he was, working in the cold at 4:00 a.m., probably aware that most students, upon waking the next morning, wouldn’t even notice all of his work.
Actions like this blow my mind. So many of you work tirelessly — not just during these snow days, but every day, behind the scenes. We don’t see you working while we’re in class or asleep at night, but without you taking care of all the necessary, often overlooked aspects of campus life, we wouldn’t be able to focus on our school work or extracurricular activities the way we can now. Thank you for allowing us to thrive. I know I sometimes take for granted all of the work that you do for us — in the dining halls, our dormitories, academic buildings, and more — but this snow day is a wonderful and timely reminder. So, thank you.
As a student living far away from home, it means the world to me that I’m still being taken care of here. My parents, texting me from back home in North Carolina, just want to know that I’m safe, fed, and doing all right despite the snow (which, coming from the South, is a big deal to us). I’m fortunate that I can tell them that the faculty and staff here at Princeton are doing whatever it takes to care for us. It makes me feel like I belong to a community, and I only hope this letter of appreciation reminds you of how integral you are to that spirit. You’ve amazed me with your compassion and dedication, and I want you to know how meaningful that is to me. I was worried I would never get a chance to share my gratitude with many of you in person, so I hope this letter will suffice. Thank you, and please take care of yourselves as much as you take care of us — don’t forget to enjoy the snow and indulge in some hot chocolate, too!
With gratitude and appreciation,
Vienna Lunking is a freshman from Charlotte, N.C. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.