CS40 hosts second Bear’s Den appreciation week to celebrate staff, includes community service element, awareness about recent unionization efforts

| Staff Reporter

Congress of the South 40 hosted its second annual Bear’s Den Appreciation Week—a week of students celebrating the Bear’s Den staff—from Feb. 20 through Feb. 24, incorporating a community service component and providing students with information about unionization efforts for the first time.

Throughout the week, CS40 managed tables in Bear’s Den where students could fill out thank you notes to staff and purchase $2 goodie bags for their favorite Bear’s Den worker.

In addition, CS40 also provided information to students about the Bon Appetit staff’s effort to unionize, and there was a petition for students who were interested in showing support for the staff’s unionization. After one day of tabling, CS40 received 20 petition signatures.

“[Bon Appetit is] working to form a union, and so we thought that would be really cool to incorporate [that] into [Bear’s Den] appreciation week,” sophomore Ben French, CS40’s community service chair, said. “What we are trying to do, as far as that is concerned, is to help spread awareness.”

CS40 also introduced a new initiative this year called Community Service Week and decided to pair the two events together. Community Service Week includes all of the residential college councils and involves each council hosting a different community service related event.

Sophomore Cassie Bergman, CS40’s director of development, said that students demonstrated their support for Bear’s Den’s staff.

“It is clear that many students form meaningful connections with the BD workers. When students see what we are tabling for, they enthusiastically stop and fill out a note,” Bergman said.

CS40 hoped to sell 30 goodie bags this year and received a flood of thank you notes from students to the Bear’s Den staff—both personalized notes to specific workers and general acknowledgments to the whole staff.

“I definitely think [that] there are [Bear’s Den] workers who are a bit more well-known than others, but most people are just really appreciative of the staff as a whole,” Bergman said, “Certainly, people will write letters for specific workers, but there are also a ton of general appreciation notes.”

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