Kenzie Syiem knows firsthand the severity of COVID-19.
Syiem ’23, an English and Spanish major from India, tested positive for the virus last month. She couldn’t get out of bed for a week. She still feels fatigued easily, a lingering effect of COVID.
On Wednesday, Syiem was one of the first people in line to create a card of thanks for the frontline workers administering the COVID-19 tests to students, faculty and staff. The event was sponsored by the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity, which provided the paper and markers for those who wanted to create cards.
“Especially right now, when they’re serving so many people, it’s hard to feel appreciated when they’re in the humdrum of testing so many people,” Syiem says. “This is just a reminder that we appreciate what they do.”
Syiem borrowed a quote from the late Maya Angelou to express her appreciation: “They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
Hampton Bryant ’23, an economics and international affairs major from Greenville, South Carolina, said he appreciates the workers because their efforts are helping to keep the campus open.
“I want to thank them and tell them about our experience at Wofford and how it affects us,” Bryant says. “I want to give them a story they can latch onto. We’d be at home going to class online if not for them. Their work allows us to attend classes and events, and to serve our community as well.”
Townshend Gillespie ’24, a biology major from Greenville who joined Alpha Phi Omega last semester, says she wants the workers to understand how important they are. Fraternity president Ethan DiBlasio ’22, a chemistry major from Spartanburg, agrees.
“They’re working hard to keep the campus open and safe,” DiBlasio says. “It’s been hard. It’s definitely completely changed what college has been like. But you have to adapt and help people along the way.”