By Danielle Frankel
Feeling a little disjointed on the first day of classes, I nearly ran into Maria rushing through Mead to get to Avery hall. I offered a quick hello, and she responded warmly “hola mija” with a crinkled smile and a nod towards the door. As I rushed in and out of Mead and onto the mounds, I found myself moved by such a simple interaction. I had never spoken with Maria before this occasion, yet I instantly felt like I’d known her, or desired greatly to know her, because of the motherly sentiment transferred unto me in the brief seconds we interacted. It got me thinking, how many other students does she offer a sweet hello to on their way to class, or in passing in Mead? And is this the limit of the staff’s interaction with the rest of Pitzer?
In such an intimate environment as Pitzer, where we are in close interaction with our peers and professors, I find the lack of connection with those individuals who make Pitzer the wonderful place it is, somewhat surprising.
I know few if any staff members’ names. While I blame myself not introducing myself or fostering a connection, I believe that Pitzer lacks methods of for integration and connection between the staff and the students.
It is important for the staff to feel like Pitzer is their home as much as students do. We should go out of our way to interact with them and include them in the community. Their absence in campus life then, makes little sense. Putting a name to a face is a simple way to make a connection, and a step in the right direction. A simple showcase of their names, photos, and job titles, similar to the one in the Humanities Building at Scripps, is an important next step. Beyond that, we could find ways other ways for them to call Pitzer their home as well.
The staff at Pitzer, who we see in passing multiple times a day, certainly deserves recognition. Just as we reach out on a limp to meet new peers, we should do the same with the entire community at Pitzer, regardless of their title.