Mackenzie Hughes ’25
Features Staff Writer
Ever wonder where your plate goes once you place it on one of the many green trays of the conveyor belt? Well, there aren’t little fairies who take and clean them… it’s Holy Cross students! These dining hall heroes are dedicated to ensuring the abundance of plates, cups and silverware are available to the campus community just in time for the Tuesday rush for chicken parm. This work may seem like such an insurmountable feat, but it is just the opposite for the amazing aproned and baseball-capped students. Those tunes you may hear hint at one of the ways students stay motivated during a busy shift. Creating a fun atmosphere is imperative to ensuring the duty of serving the campus is an exciting experience. Their job doesn’t stop there, for you may recognize student workers while you are scooping your servings too. In addition to the amazing career staff, Kimball student workers are responsible for supporting service, working at the deli, salad, pasta, or stir-fry stations. A friendly smile can make a meal that much sweeter! So, if this is the reality of working at Kimball, where is the stigma that working there is less respectable than that of a job at the Jo or the library coming from? I am in no way saying other positions on campus are less important, but how do you expect to eat if there aren’t enough student workers to clean plates?
I believe the disconnect is at the core of kitchen culture. There needs to be a conversation regarding why dish room employment is coupled with hard, laborious work compared to a job that has more engagement with the campus community. Of all the places to work on campus, why would you work in the dish room? Aside from monetary purposes, getting experience in a real work environment is extremely valuable for a resume. Additionally, this position truly demonstrates the Holy Cross Jesuit tradition of serving others; working at Kimball is as close to experiencing the Catholic mission we care so much about as you can get. This is especially true for our Kimball captains, who compile playlists, and rock maroon polos while replenishing the ice cream or juice machines. These polos covered in the soapy fluid after being baptized by Mother Kimball, the dishwasher, should not give you the impression that Kimball workers are less deserving of respect. Kimball student workers should be more highly recognized as leaders on campus because they put great effort into ensuring that an excellently curated dining experience is achieved.
They did not take this position for praise or reward, but to be the face of dining services. They work behind the scenes to develop an individual dining experience for all students. When surrounded by a lively group of people passionate about their job, the environment shifts from work to pleasure.
I wrote this article not to make a plug for working at Kimball for the recruiting process (although I hope this was an enticing promotion), I did so to bring to life the machine that is the student worker team. Without the support from the dining services staff and your peers’ participation, Kimball would cease to exist as we know and love it.