An open letter to the dining services staff

To our beloved Trinity dining staff:

Thank you for calling me “Abby.” I know that sounds strange — after all, my name is Abby. Growing up, and still to this day, I don’t hear my name often because I have a twin sister, Emma, for whom I am often confused.

It’s hard to express what it means to me when I walk into Einstein’s, and the first thing I hear from Vira is “Abby, how are you? I haven’t seen Emma in a while, how is she?” Or, when I go to the P.O.D. for a late-night snack and Reyna says, “Abby! Your hair is down today!”

I feel like I can speak for more than just my sister and I in saying that remembering our names is just a small example of how y’all make our Trinity experience special. Y’all know what we study, where we work, where we’re from and when we’re having a stressful exam week. As a tour guide, I share with the visiting students and families that the people who work in Coates, Starbucks and Mabee are like our parents and older siblings away from home. And that is truly who y’all are to us — family.

Without fail, I see y’all every day — when I’m exhausted from a grueling day of classes or when one of my classes is canceled and I have an unexpected morning to sleep in. Inevitably, y’all sense when I am going through a tough time and offer a smile or a hug.
It is a beautiful aspect of consistency in my chaotic day-to-day life to know that with whatever is going on, I can go to Sandwich Shack and talk to Marty about the weather or go to Mabee and visit with Kathryn about her time in Antarctica.

I want y’all to know that from the many conversations I have had during my time here at Trinity, and especially in the last couple of weeks, we, as students, appreciate all you do to feed and take care of us. Know that we see you. We see how you wake up before dawn, how you stay until the early hours of the morning and how you spend your time checking in on us like we are family — asking how we slept or when we’ll get to take a break from school work.

Y’all’s acts of kindness, of humanity, cannot be acknowledged with just a mere “thank you,” although sometimes that is all we say in response. We don’t say it as often as we should, but we hope you all know that we are beyond grateful for your invaluable presence as members of our community.

I acknowledge that with the recent institutional changes to Trinity campus dining services, there will be some difficult decisions to make in the coming months. I know that you have to make the best choice for you and your families, which may mean that we won’t get to see each other every day on campus anymore.

I want to offer each and every one of y’all support as you choose your path forward. Whether that means that you’ll be on campus or not, I and the rest of the students, staff and faculty will never forget the way you’ve made Trinity a place we call home. You are forever in our hearts.

With gratitude and love,