A shortage in Facilities staff has the department seeking cleaning help from perhaps an unlikely source – students.
Custodial staff at Castleton is depleted after several retirements in the last few months, and their positions have yet to be replaced.
With an enrollment of over 2,000 students, the task of keeping the campus clean is up to a small workforce of employees.
Naomi Julis, a custodian in Glenbrook Gym, has noticed the lack of staff since the retirements.
“Normally I get a floater that comes over to help me; but if somebody’s out sick or there’s nobody in Ellis, then I don’t get any extra help,” she said.
Chris Kwolek is the custodial supervisor who oversees and assigns staff members to designated positions.
“We are struggling to do the day-to-day routine in the buildings that do not have an assigned custodian,” said Kwolek.
The staff that they do have is spread very thin, she said.
“This means taking a person away from their daily duties to help out in another area,” she said.
Keeping the campus clean is one challenge. On top of that, there are various functions and sporting events that also need to be addressed.
Kwolek is faced with the added stress when the custodial department is not fully staffed.
As a result, Facilities is reaching out to the student body in seek of motivated individuals who can provide assistance with all of the additional tasks.
They are offering work study positions with flexible hours to accommodate a student’s schedule.
Though she is optimistic, she has to deal with the reality that not many students want to clean in their spare time.
“We try every year, but we don’t usually get any or many takers. Currently we have two students on the second shift and hopefully one returning student to the first shift soon,” she said.
Olson Humphrey, a junior majoring in exercise science, joined Facilities through a work study position starting in March 2018 and continued throughout the summer.
“It said they needed help and I love to clean,” she said excitedly.
Her responsibilities included cleaning the dorms in between guest and student arrivals, as well as cleaning various other buildings on campus, like the Campus Center and Glenbrook Gym.
“Since helping Facilities at Castleton, I have come to appreciate all the individual people and how hard they have to work every day,” she said.
Her experience also made her more aware of how much work it takes to keep a campus clean and she made a bit of a plea to fellow students to help.
“With the lack of custodial members, I think it would really help if students were considerate of campus spaces,” Olson said.