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Student Raises Funds for Dining Staff Bonuses

By RACHEL HOROWITZ-BENOIT

Hoping to improve the holiday experience for dining hall staff members, Joslyn Sullivan ’19.5 has created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for holiday bonuses. “The GoFundMe seemed like a really tangible thing that students could do to show that they appreciate the dining hall staff,” Sullivan said.

As of December 4, the page had received 46 donations for a total of $734. Sullivan is hoping that with increased knowledge about the project, the donations will increase. The stated goal is $3,500.

“People just really need an outlet to show that they care,” Sullivan said, citing the individual efforts of residential halls to give  holiday bonuses to their custodial staff. “That shows that students really do care and want to do that but might not think of it themselves.”

“That’s also one of the biggest ways that I’ve been able to get donations, is just going up to my friends and looking them in the eyes and being like, ‘Please donate to this,’ ” Sullivan said. Whether or not they are able to donate, Sullivan encourages students to post the link to their Facebook pages and ask friends to donate.

Although Sullivan did not start the project with specific plans to continue it in future years, she thinks it is a possibility.

Sullivan believes the project is especially important now considering recent changes to the dining system that the staff has had to keep up with. She was also inspired by an op-ed by Nia Robinson ’19 in the Nov. 2 issue of The Campus, titled “Put That Thing Back Where It Came From (Or So Help Me),” which criticized the way students treat Middlebury staff.

Sullivan expressed appreciation for the diverse support she has received. “I have had a couple of friends that go to different schools that visit here enough that they were like, ‘I love those people, I love those dining halls, I’m gonna donate,’ and that was really special to hear.”

Still, she emphasizes that this is a great opportunity for Middlebury students specifically to show appreciation. “I also kind of wanted it to be on the students who were interacting with these people every day.” She hopes her efforts will make it possible for students to give back this holiday season.

To donate, visit go/welovedining.

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