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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Fish Aides, Reach Project host annual custodian banquet

Photo courtesy of Ansley Willmann

The SGA sponsored custodian banquet on Thursday, April 14, 2023.

Student volunteers worked hard to organize and hand out meal packs as a small token of appreciation to all Southeast Service Corporation custodians, ground crew and food service workers. 

 On April 13 at 12:30 p.m, the Fish Aides service committee and Reach Project hosted their annual custodian banquet at the Aggie RV Park off of Research Parkway. The event serves as a celebration and appreciation for everything SSC workers do. 

Biomedical junior and Director of the Fish Aides Service Committee Nick Elam said they planned on handing out 600 meal packs at the event. Elam added the banquet serves as a celebration to the very deserving workers who serve A&M. 

“We just want to show appreciation for the people that we so easily walk past on a daily basis,” Elam said. “Every year, we put on the custodian banquet, and after COVID[-19] it turned into a drive-thru event” 

Elam said the overall environment of the event is the best part.

“We get to help set up the meal packs and distribute them,” Elam said. “We are at the front of the venue with signs, smiles and energy as the workers are pulling in.”

Putting on this event is no walk in the park and requires a lot of support, Elam said. 

“Every year, we ask for as many volunteers and donations as possible,” Elam said. “This helps the event grow each year … the workers do so much for us, to be able to show appreciation to the people that serve us is extremely important.”

Business freshman and Service Committee Communications Chair Kaitlin Ha said they put on the program for one reason. 

“To celebrate our custodians,” Ha said. “We partner with the Reach Project to do this, they reach out to essential Aggies who make this campus run, they are largely unseen and celebrated, so we want to change that.” 

Ha said she wants every worker to know their work doesn’t go unnoticed.  

“Their work is not for nothing,” Ha said. “I want them to know that we do appreciate them and that they are vital to our campus. This is just a small way we can say thank you.”

Executive director of the Reach Project Max Gerall said this event brings students and workers together. 

“Oftentimes as students, we don’t see these individuals … The essential Aggies can start to feel invisible, so this is a wonderful opportunity to show them that they’re appreciated,” Gerall said.

Gerall said the Research project wants to empower students to serve those who serve us, because they’ve earned it. 

“We see you, we hear you and we support you,” Gerall said. 

After receiving her meal pack Sonia Nealy, a lead custodial worker at the Innovative Learning Classroom Building said she is grateful for what the students do. 

“I really want to thank the students for what they have done for us today,” Nealy said. “I’m as appreciative of them as they are of us.”

While waiting to check in, Robert Caballero, a member of the grounds management team, said the event means a lot. 

“It felt good seeing the signs that say ‘You are appreciated’ as we pulled in,” Caballero said. “It’s also nice to know that they think about us working hard, when they are working just as hard studying and taking tests.”

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