“Okay, will do.” This simple exchange of words has its roots in politeness and courtesy, but does this agreement ever hold true? Not usually. From a very young age, pushing in our chairs, holding doors and saying hello were tips of etiquette that were expected to be maintained. With that said, it seems that etiquette-which is allegedly elementary-has not been maintained. This is clear in the way students and organizations behave at Sykes Student Union. Sykes houses multiple facilities such as the Fitness Center, computer lab, SSI bookstore and lastly a myriad of meeting rooms for the West Chester University community to utilize. Additionally, operating at a minimum of 14 hours a day indicates that the building is essential to the student body collectively. In turn, Sykes assesses, trains and challenges its employees to provide the best accommodations to the community. With four graduate assistants, 13 student directors, 28 union associates, an assistant director, a director and having the responsibility of assisting hundreds of people a day, Sykes’ employees have their work cut out for them. Nonetheless, we don’t seem to make it any easier for them.
According to one student director, certain policies that are reviewed and explained by student directors are continuously rejected by organizations. For example, Sykes prohibits the use of candles at any function strictly for safety purposes. Additionally, Sykes also requires that members of organizations reserve rooms in advance for meetings. However, even though these policies are explicit, some organizations still choose to reject them. Some organizations, the student director said, leave remnants of candle wax imbedded into the carpet. Others will bombard union associates with pleas for reserving a room that is needed 20 minutes from that point. Consequently, when certain policies-like the former-are violated, the employees have to prohibit that organization from utilizing Sykes. So, to avoid prohibition, leave incendiary and procrastinating habits aside and abide by the rules.
When we need equipment for presentations and fundraising events, Sykes’ employees are ready, willing and able to provide it-and they always do it politely. The least we can do is requite their accommodations with courtesy. If an organization is in need of a room, that organization should reserve a room at least a week in advance. When we reserve equipment, we cannot leave the building without notifying the staff; the equipment is expensive and can be stolen. Lastly, we have to clean up after ourselves. Just because the event ended at 11 p.m., and we can leave, does not mean the staff can close up shop. Sykes staff, then, has to return the equipment and arrange the room in a completely different set-up for an event early the following morning in which some of those same staff members have to work. The minimum we can do is clean up food, decorations and debris.
“It’s their job.” This is not a valid argument because lack of respect can never be justifiably defended. It’s time we give the Sykes staff a break and realize that, although they are receiving a pay check, sometimes courtesy and consideration are actually worth more than the money they receive every two weeks.
Not only will our considerate actions reduce some of the unnecessary tasks the staff has to complete after we leave, but it will help establish an effective business relationship between our organization and the staff at Sykes. Moreover, the employees at Sykes are either students or have families; therefore, they have other obligations. Take the initiative and be mindful of others’ situations.
Every time we enter Sykes, and we agree to leave it the way we found it, let’s actually mean it.