After a Tough Winter, Students Treat Hardworking Staff

A Quinby House breakfast to thank Bowdoin groundskeepers, housekeepers and carpenters

A Quinby House breakfast to thank Bowdoin groundskeepers, housekeepers and carpenters

Last weekend was the first since January that Bowdoin’s grounds crew had off, groundskeeper Joe Tourtelotte said. He and his colleagues have been working overtime to keep Bowdoin’s paths and steps free of all the snow that has fallen so relentlessly for the last six weeks.

Meanwhile, the housekeeping staff has struggled to keep Bowdoin’s buildings clean from the sand, salt and snow that gets tracked in by people’s boots.

“We feel bad salting,” Senior Groundskeeper Shawn Robishaw said, “but we have to.”

Housekeeper Mary Pike cleans the Visual Arts Center and MacMillan House. “You sweep, you dust, you vacuum, and vacuum, and vacuum,” she said. “I have never vacuumed so much.”

Pike, Robishaw and Tourtelotte recently took a Friday morning break to sip the coffee and eat the danishes and muffins that students in Quinby House had set out for them.

Quinby resident Spencer Shagoury ’17 helped organize the free breakfast. “We’ve been seeing all the extra work they’ve been doing — it’s been so snowy and cold,” he said. “A lot of people in this house grew up in the Northeast, and we’ve all shoveled, but just for an hour!”

Last semester, students in Ladd House did something similar for dining staff. The students threw a holiday party for dining employees, offering cookies and treats baked in house and live entertainment by the Bowdoin Longfellows.

Robishaw said the students’ gratitude helps make his job easier. “This is great,” he said, looking around at his colleagues chatting, coffees in hand. “You feel good when students think about you like this. We get so many thank yous from students on campus. They give you the extra boost.”

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