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One Wharton management group is spreading thanks across Penn's campus.

Wharton juniors Hari Joy and Shreya Zaveri , along with the rest of their Management 104 group, organized the Penn Employee Appreciation Week to encourage Penn students to show their appreciation for Penn security guards, dining facility workers and other employees.

“Oftentimes, there’s a lot of behind-the scenes work, a lot of hard work, that goes into keeping this campus safe, accessible and enjoyable," Joy said. "It’s a nice gesture for us to come together and show appreciation for these efforts."

The week-long movement, which began on Monday, encourages students to share a picture or post about the employee with the hashtag “#PennAppreciates," with the employee's permission. The management team is publicizing the event using Facebook and encouraging students to nominate their friends on social media.

According to the Facebook event page, 191  people are planning to participate.

Joy and Zaveri hope these tactics, inspired by the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — which swept social media over the summer — will spread awareness quickly through the Penn community.

“It’s about being mindful of the people around that keep your world running, that you might not even notice otherwise," Zaveri said.

The group conducted observational studies on the quantity and quality of student interactions with Penn employees, and is currently conducting an online survey about the effects of Employee Appreciation Week. They hope to pass the information along to the Wharton Undergraduate Giving Society to continue the legacy.

Bon Appétit Sous Chef Felipe Lopez  said that he has already experienced student appreciation. “One of the sororities came by last week and brought gum for everyone, which was an extremely nice gesture,” he said.

Not all students are quite so amicable, though. Lopez said that the Houston Market staff occasionally faces problems with students stealing food.

Yet, Lopez is excited about the influence that the event might have on students, as he feels that the employees truly care about their customers here at Penn. “Most of the employees really appreciate the students," he said. "You don't find that in a lot of the places where you work." 

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