By, Rebecca Kranich & Jocelyn Visnov, Staff Writer & Asst. Production Editor
Whether it’s for breakfast at 8 a.m., a snack between classes at noon, or a sit-down dinner with friends, the majority of students have dined at Locke’s Loft at some point during their MC careers.
A few friendly Lockes staff members have become well-known icons across campus. The most popular of which include Russell and Fabio. These two show up to work with positive energy, regardless of the time or weather. They have a way of brightening students’ days, even in the most subtle ways.
Russell and Fabio are part of the Manhattan College community, nourishing students with every plate. Their love for the students shows through and is even more apparent in their words.
“I come here for the students, and to see them every day makes me happy,” said Fabio, who has been a staff member at Lockes for the last 21 years.
Fabio is a prominent figure in Locke’s Loft. He is always seen talking to students, giving out fresh-baked cookies, and checking up on people throughout their day.
“The students are happy, they always say ‘hi, you’re the best,’ and because it makes me happy, I can be happy.” Fabio said. “I love every student here.”
Russell and Fabio heavily impact students’ lives daily. Their smiles and friendly nature lift students up, even in times of stress.
“Sometimes there’s a lot going on, and you’re surrounded by negative things,” said Ekaterina Shcherbina, a sophomore originally from Belarus. “It’s nice to have positive people who make others feel positive. It’s great to have support, even if it’s just someone saying hi.”
Russell is a morning chef that has worked for Manhattan College for just under ten years. Commonly known as “the bacon, egg, and cheese guy,” Russel has gained a reputation for his jokes, booming voice and ability to memorize students favorite dishes before they even order.
“I love my day,” Russell said. “No complaints. Yeah, I love every day that ends with ‘Y,’ and that every day has a purpose.”
Even on hard days, Russell knows he can count on MC students to cheer him up.
“I’ve been blessed with no tough days so far. Everyone’s friendly. The kids are energetic in the morning because they know they’re getting a good breakfast.” Russell said. “I like the camaraderie. I like the fact that you know, most of them [students] know my name. They’re like extended family, just younger.”
Sophomore Laura McEntire explains how she sees Fabio and Russell as positive additions to the dining experience at MC.
“I feel like the students see their happiness, and it’s welcoming; it creates a friendly environment. It’s nice to see people on the regular like that who make you feel good.” McEntire said. “They always have smiles on their faces and are trying to make personal connections.”
McEntire expressed their appreciation for the hard work and positive attitude Russell and Fabio bring to the table each day.
“Thank you for keeping Locke’s running and for actually making a difference in students’ lives, and I commend them for being able to get up every day and keep this happy energy around,” McEntire said. “It’s a lot for someone to do everyday, but they manage to do so, and it’s commendable.”
Shcherbina also expressed her gratitude to the staff, stating how dining in Lockes makes her feel at home because of the workers.
“Thank you for the things you do, for making us feel like home, and thank you for serving here; it takes a lot of energy,” Shcherbina said. “It’s really hard work, and thank you for everything.”