(BASIL JOHN / THE STATESMAN) Andrew Rosenbluth and Michael Rogers, above, who work for a private snow-removal company, pose for a photo with their shovels outside of the Staller Center for the Arts during the aftermath of Winter Storm Juno on Monday, Jan. 26.
“When was the last time you stopped and spoke with a bus driver? Thanked the workers outside in the blistering cold for shoveling the sidewalks? Told a SAC dining chef that you really enjoyed your meal?” BASIL JOHN / THE STATESMAN

College students are some of the most blasé people in the world.

Yes, I see you shaking your head like, “No, that’s not me.” Lies. It is you.

Though I certainly am not one to point fingers at anybody, I fully admit that I too am a very indifferent person to many things. Last semester, I saw a kid get aattacked by a goose like he was its next meal and thought nothing of it.

But can I be blamed? I have seen at least three goose attacks a day since my first day on campus, and while I am ready to write a full-page petition to kill the next goose that defecates on the sidewalk, I am not here to talk about these festering animals. Like the brutal battle of man against bird that has been apart of Stony Brook since the dawn of time, there are many services on campus that go unnoticed and unappreciated by the Stony Brook student body.


When was the last time you stopped and spoke with a bus driver? Thanked the workers outside in the blistering cold for shoveling the sidewalks? Told a SAC dining chef that you really enjoyed your meal? We have grown so accustomed to these services that we are hardly even phased by the amount of time and effort that may have gone into making them happen, and we need to be more aware of this. We need to take a second to say the two words almost every custodian, chef and bus driver never seems to hear: thank you!

When I am not here at school, I work in daycare facility in my hometown and I can tell you right now the two types of parents that exist in this world. There are the ones that chat for an additional two hours by the door, smiling and getting to know you, and the ones that grab their offspring by the wrist and leave like the building is about to burn down. I am well aware that these parents pay good money just to have a few hours free of coloring with crayons and changing diapers. I do not expect any mother, on top of the stress of carrying for herself and a family, to thank me for doing a job that I am paid to do.

However, I would be lying if I said it did not make me feel better about myself to hear positive recognition or acknowledgment of my work. Again, it is not something that I anticipate happening; after all, it is my job. But I hold out hope that someone would stop and take a moment to say that they appreciate what I am doing.

Yes, I am at times a hypocrite outside of my job. I am aware that I too stumble into West Side Dining, grumble my order for curly fries and retreat to my room, no “thank you’s” exchanged. But I try to make an effort to ask workers how busy their day has been or what their plans are over the weekend.


Like the stressed out mothers-of-three that I know, students are often exhausted, over-worked and struggling to get to class on time. I am sure not many people have the time or energy to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. But we, the struggling broke college students, almost all know the feeling of having to work a job where your efforts often go unnoticed. And it sucks. My friend is a waitress, and each time we go out to eat, she leaves at least a $10 tip because she knows the pain and suffering that our poor waiter/waitress had to go through.

I think it is time we start leaving our $10 at the table. No, do not actually leave money behind at in a dining hall, but thank a bus driver for driving around campus all day, a custodian for keeping the buildings beautiful, or even thank a taxi driver for driving a good portion of the student body back to campus Thursday-Saturday night. It is not necessary, but considering the number of things done for us as students everyday, it almost should be.

Emily Benson

Emily is a senior journalism major and business minor. She has been a member of The Statesman since her freshman year, an intern at a NPR member station, WSHU, and worked on the editorial board of the Albany newspaper, The Times Union. She was born and raised in the farm lands of upstate New York, and enjoys apple picking, long boarding, hiking, eating, breathing and sitting. Contact Emily at: [email protected]


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