Short-staffed Facilities Dept. is working hard, so help them out

I am a part-time student here at Vermont State University. I went to the Community College of Vermont in Rutland, where I graduated with an associate’s degree in Multimedia Communications. 

After some time away from school, I took several jobs and eventually wound up here. I am not only a student, but a full-time employee here at the Castleton Campus, and while the job does have its benefits, such as funded schooling, allowing me to go back to school and pursue a bachelor’s in Communications, it also has its setbacks. 

All of us here at VTSU, the students, the faculty, and the staff have been impacted by the sudden changes taking place among all VTSU campuses. However, we sometimes forget the challenges each one of us faces on a day-to-day basis. 

Over the course of my job here at Castleton, I have noticed a tremendous change in the Facilities Department. There are a number of reasons for this. In the current economy, no one wants to work for minimum wage, and many places are paying employees well, desperate just for the help. 

And while the benefits of working for VTSU are nothing to complain about, the hourly pay isn’t exactly one to write home about. To drive home my main point, I would like to shed some light on the working conditions of some of our hardest working employees, the Facilities crew.

This crew includes custodians, like myself, along with others who keep our campus and our property running as smoothly as possible. However, pressure rises as employees have stepped up to take on multiple roles, with new employment dwindling. 

With the changes and need for more feet on the ground, it has been a bit of a struggle, to put it lightly. My hope is to bring some awareness to these hard workers and try to be understanding of each other as we work through these changes. 

We need to be patient and remember we are all experiencing the changes, but also think about the hard work that goes into keeping our school up and running.

I happen to know these people very well, and while most here are very appreciative and understanding, the hit our facilities department has taken has gone largely unnoticed. There have been a number of complaints about conditions on campus, and I feel, as someone who is in the midst of it all, as though this should be addressed from a Facilities’ employee’s perspective. 

One thing I would like to make very clear is that we are very few. That means we are very few feet on the ground, actually working to maintain a clean, functioning campus. And while we work very hard to keep up, there is only so much a few people can do. Much of this goes unnoticed as many of the employees making up other departments do not always witness what we do as Facilities. 

So, when making a complaint or addressing an issue to Facilities, I only respectfully ask that you do so with this knowledge. Try to address hard-pressing issues that impact the entire campus and try to do your part as well. 

As we transition into this “better together” mentality, we really should all be working together to address these issues. If possible, try to get out there and talk to people, put your feet on the ground and ask what you can do to help. Avoid putting small, selfish tasks first. This greatly helps out our Facilities crew and helps us all keep the important things in perspective.

We’ve received a lot of complaints over very small things that keep us from tackling bigger issues that impact the school as a whole. 

I ask that you do your part, help make us truly better together. 

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