BY CHRIS BERNDT
Any conversation about what makes St. Norbert a special place should begin with the people who work here. For anyone who has spent time around the school, it is easy to understand what makes St. Norbert students so successful. Our professors are excellent, our facilities and grounds are gorgeous and, maybe most importantly, our staff is friendly. That friendliness helps to breed happiness in the students here at St. Norbert. The fact that the men and women who work on campus can be counted on to greet students with a smile plays a large role in the culture of success the college strives to cultivate, too.
An excellent example of this attitude can be found at the central hub of campus, the Campus Center, in the work being done by our friends at Phil’s. Led by Associate Director of Retail Operations, Barb Wickham, the men and women of Phil’s spend every day making sandwiches, Chicken Caesar Pitas, and more in a welcoming environment where students and faculty can come and relax. Every day we rush into the dining areas between classes and order a collective 6,000 chicken strips. We take for granted that the poultry will be crispy and golden brown without any real thought about the people who make that possible.
As great as the food is, and it is pretty great, the most positive impact that our hospitality staff brings is through their attitudes. Time and time again, both experience and research have proven that smiling is a powerful tool in raising the collective happiness of a group, and the friendly faces found throughout campus deserve credit for their contribution to the positivity of our college. Keep in mind, food service is often a thankless job, but you’d never know it by looking at our staff. No one could blame a cashier or a fry cook for frowning after an eight hour shift fraught with college kids and cheeseburgers, but there they are, smiling anyway. So the next time you’re in Phil’s or any of the fine dining establishments on campus, make sure you say thank you to whomever may be serving you. They don’t have to be happy, it’s just who they are.