Letchworth rewards student workers

Letchworth dining hall employees are now being acknowledged thanks to the "Paper Plate Award" instituted by student manager and senior Malan Silva.

As some may have experienced, Letchworth has not always been known for employing the friendliest students. In fact, two years ago, Letchworth had a rather notorious reputation for student employees and the way that the management responded to them.

After talking with Silva, Pat Kennedy, assistant manager at Letchworth, said she decided a cohesive effort needed to be made to show the student employees that their work was really appreciated.

"Customer service to me comes first and respect for my student employees comes second, so we targeted along that line," said Kennedy. "I've found if you want good results with people, you've got to be nice to them, so it's not a problem for me to try to encourage kids and break through."

Silva approached the managers at Letchworth with the idea of the Paper Plate Award after seeing the impact it made when he gave a friend a faux award a few years ago. Over winter break, Silva visited that friend and saw the award he had bestowed upon her two semesters ago for her hard work was still hanging on the wall.

"I was thrilled by the fact that the little thing I did then really made an impact on her," said Silva. "She said she felt good receiving it after working honestly for her minimum pay at Letchworth."

Managers and student supervisors agreed that the Paper Plate Award was an excellent way to recognize the students who were doing a great job. "To select [a potential winner], the managers and the student supervisors nominate someone, and the nominees go on the wall [in upstairs Letchworth]," Silva said. "General students can vote on it and then we select one of the nominees randomly."

The first Paper Plate Award was given out in January to junior Megan McKenzie. McKenzie received a Samsung MP3 player as a token of Campus Auxiliary Services appreciation for her outstanding work.

"I think that the Paper Plate Award is a great way for student employees to be recognized for their hard work," said McKenzie. "This award will help motivate all student workers to put in their best effort, everyday."