WHAT is it?
While “Office Work” sounds as if one would be working in an office setting, it actually refers to the daily maintenance and custodial tasks performed by faculty and students at the completion of the midday meal on weekdays.
- “Major Office Work” or “Majors” is the additional cleaning tasks that are performed once a week in addition to regular Office Work.
- “Dish Crew” means just what it sounds like: it is the students and faculty who wash dishes and clean up after each meal.
WHO does it?
Everybody! Students and faculty alike have Office Work or Dish Crew responsibilities.
WHERE does it take place?
Everywhere! Each room and hallway in the Main gets cleaned and so do all the spaces in the Boys and Girls Dorms. Faculty and staff clean their offices, a combination of faculty and students clean classrooms, and students clean the rest of the Main. Boys clean the hallways and bathrooms in the Boys Dorm, and girls clean the hallways and bathrooms in the Girls Dorm. Dish Crew works together in the kitchen and the dining room.
WHEN does it happen?
For students who have Office Work, they work every weekday after lunch but before their afternoon classes. On Fridays they perform their Major Office Work in the afternoon period before PE block. Students assigned to Dish Crew work before and after each meal, although usually the kitchen staff takes care of breakfast.
HOW does it happen?
With everyone working together! There are cleaning supplies accessible to all students, and when a student has completed his or her tasks, he or she finds an Office Work Grader to check his or her work. Office Work Graders are specially trained and dedicated returning students who assess student work and report to the Office Work Coordinator.
WHY does it happen?
At Olney Friends School, we believe in the Quaker testimony of Stewardship. Stewardship means taking good care of our resources so that they are around for others to use. When everyone has a hand in the maintenance and upkeep of their community, they become more aware of how their personal actions can effect change, for better or worse, in the community. When only a few are assigned custodial tasks, others often get the impression that they are not responsible for what happens where they live, and thus they do not always take good care of the space in which they live and work. At Olney, stewardship is everybody’s responsibility.