Staff and faculty jumped at the chance this week to experience corners of campus they might not see in their day-to-day work life -- steam tunnels, the power plant, a yoga studio, to name a few.
Monday's launch of a Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week website is giving non-student employees opportunities to have some fun with their colleagues and experience, at no cost to them, unique pieces of campus life. It also gives Iowa State administrators a different approach to thank employees for their commitment to the university during a two-year pandemic.
"We hope you will take part in this celebration of appreciation. Thank you for all that you do to make Iowa State University a very special place," read an emailed invitation signed by President Wendy Wintersteen, senior vice presidents Pam Cain, Jonathan Wickert and Toyia Younger and vice president for university human resources Kristi Darr.
Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week runs March 28-April 1.
As of noon Wednesday, 761 individuals had registered for at least one event. Some experiences, especially those with smaller capacities due to safety or space considerations, filled quickly. Others don't have a cap: Seven days of access to recreation services facilities and programming, an afternoon bowling game (and shoes) at CyBowl in the Memorial Union, Friday disc golf at the Veterinary Medicine campus, a Thursday midday happy hour at the ISU Book Store, a Monday stroll through Reiman Gardens or an ice cream single scoop from the ISU Creamery --with an eligible selfie on your smartphone. You can enjoy guided wellbeing strolls, campus tours and the opening week of the spring Focus Grant exhibition in the MU featuring student works not created for a class. And with a generous cap of 500 people, there's still room for happy hour-goers late Tuesday afternoon in Johnny's at Hilton Coliseum.
Appreciation week organizers encourage people to register by March 25 so hosts know what to expect next week, but the program website and accompanying registration website will remain open through April 1. The registration site notes which programs have filled.
Prior to spring break, senior leaders asked supervisors to permit their employees reasonable participation in appreciation week while still meeting office needs. Nonexempt staff should remain on the clock if they participate in events during their normal work hours.