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Before COVID19 forced us to restructure the way we work and live, the University of North Texas Housing Department provided living accommodations for approximately 6,400 student residents. These individuals resided in 16 resident halls across the UNT campus, tinting the city with a Mean Green hue. When the majority of the University’s faculty and staff began telecommuting, some were deemed essential and continued coming in to work. Our UNT Housing custodians maintained the resident halls as usual but also increased safety and sanitization measures to keep our students and staff safe. These employees have been our front-liners and fundamental in the safety of our community at UNT. To say they are appreciated is a huge understatement.
Pete Beaulieu, Assistant Director of Housing Services, decided to organize a special event to show the department’s gratitude for his staff’s hard work. “The event was actually an idea that one of the custodians mentioned to me while I was discussing COVID-19 with them. I thought to myself ‘That’s a darn good idea.’ I wanted to find a way to thank them to the best of my ability for enduring all the stress over the past 60 days. This group works hard for the University community to provide a safe environment even in adverse conditions.” With the help of Housing’s Executive Director, Gina Vanacore, and supportive associate directors in the department, Beaulieu has put together an event to honor these employees.
The Housing Custodian Appreciation Parade is Wednesday, June 10, at 10 a.m. Those who wish to show their appreciation will need to meet at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot across from McConnell Hall in their desired form of transportation (car, golf cart, bicycle, etc.) or on foot. Participants will then caravan through campus to College Inn where the custodians will be outside (practicing social distancing) and ready to hear shouts of thanks and well-wishes. The route will consist of turning right out of Lot 7 onto Sycamore, then right onto Avenue D, then left between Legends and College Inn, then turn right prior to the dumpsters and then go around parking lot and exit. Posters, streamers, car decorations, etc. are encouraged but not required.