Section: Opinion

“Unsung Heroes” gives long-deserved praise

“Unsung Heroes” gives long-deserved praise

AVI employee Sheila Horlacher is featured in the campaign. Photo by Gianna Biaggi.

By Sam Berten and Gianna Biaggi

There is one common ground that unites Kenyon students, faculty and staff ­— our mutual respect for the employees of Maintenance, Campus Safety and AVI. A new campaign, “Unsung Heroes Week,” has brought to light issues of economic diversity and mutual respect in our collective Kenyon community. We created the program to honor these employees and to extend our heartfelt gratitude.

The dedicated workers of each department complete the Kenyon community and demonstrate the need for all of us to respect their tireless efforts. They serve us in every aspect of our lives and in our times of greatest need. For every Kenyon student pursuing his or her academic and career goals, there is someone working behind the scenes to help each of them succeed every step of the way, from cleaning hallways, to cooking meals in the dining hall and always offering a helping hand. These little tasks lead to a safe and comfortable environment that enables students to thrive in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities.

The behind-the-scenes worker at any institution is an integral, yet often unseen part of the community. They can be overshadowed by the day-to-day activities of the university which they serve. However, these workers are the true backbone of our community.

AVI, Safety and Maintenance work to meet all of our needs so that students can focus on the larger issue at hand — our Kenyon education. However, it is easy to forget that these workers change our worlds every day, with their unparalleled level of service to our community. We often forget to express our gratitude for their unending service in our lives.

This is the first annual “Unsung Heroes Week,” an event that should continue as long as Kenyon remains an institution open to mutual respect, understanding and compassion. Maintenance, Campus Safety and AVI: this week is for you. We owe you more than just common courtesy, but an immense and a too-often unpaid debt of gratitude. Thank you for your continued service to the Kenyon community.

Sam Berten ’17 is an art history major from Cincinnati, Ohio. Contact her at

Gianna Biaggi ’17 is an American and international studies double major from Sonoma, Calif. Contact her a


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