Thursday, March 30, 2023

Custodial Appreciation Day instituted

Empty water bottles, food containers and wrappings are scattered the floor of lounge spaces in residence halls and academic spaces.  This image is ingrained in students’ minds when they walk into the different social spaces on Plattsburgh State’s campus, but who thinks of the people cleaning it up?   

Student Association Executive Vice President Charlye Hernandez suggested the idea of the Custodial Appreciation Day to the senate Wednesday April 3, 2019. The day was created to recognize the custodial staff for their hard work in keeping PSUC clean.  

The custodial staff faces the best and worst of situations in concerns to how students treat the residential and academic spaces they inhabit.

“My worst has to be [students] overflowing the toilets with paper towels, with a lot of toilet paper and filling it up with poop because it just overflows the toilets,” Banks Hall cleaner Courtney Lamberton said.

The SA passed a resolution designating Thursday, April 18 as Custodial Appreciation Day.  The SA has encouraged all students and staff to show appreciation for the custodial staff not only on this day, but in the future as well.

While there is acknowledgment of the hard work the custodial staff do, here has been a discrepancy between the amount of respect they receive from staff and students. 

“Yes, [I think] that they do respect you ‘cause they see how hard that you work in the bathrooms or on the floors,” Lamberton said.  “I like when they do their general cleaning.  Like picking up their own hair, dropping something on the floor and picking it back up.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Bryan Hartman told the SA the appreciation day has manifested into different events on campus.  In turn, this has encouraged individual residence halls to host a custodial appreciation day of their own.

The custodians and cleaners in the residence halls make the continual effort to create a clean living environment that students can come home to.

“I believe I respect them, but there’s stuff I do I know that I shouldn’t do,” fitness and wellness major Jack Huner said. “Some examples are shaving my beard and not cleaning it after, going to the bathroom and forgetting to flush.”  

Simple tasks such as picking up something that’s dropped, leaving bathroom spaces clean as possible and making sure others do the same are little things that go a long way to make the custodial staff jobs’ easier.

“I don’t really like to litter and stuff so I think I do keep it clean, so I do respect the custodial [staff],” sophomore psychology major Stephanie DeJesus said.  “I think it’s nice and it shows the custodians that people will actually care about them and take them into consideration.”

Some PSUC students agree the custodians don’t receive the appreciation they deserve.

“They’re definitely underappreciated. We don’t really think of what they actually do. We just think of them as, they’re just cleaning our bathrooms,” Huner said.

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