Custodian cleans window

Each shift is manned by student employees, many of whom are also on track and taking classes.

November 27, 2017
Writer: Dain Knudson

Every day, at almost any hour of the day, you can find part-time student and full-time employees working to keep our campus buildings clean. Those custodial services employees make daily sacrifices to make sure our facilities are well maintained and beautiful. 

"It's a 24-hour operation to keep our campus clean," said Doug Watson, director of Facilities Management Services. 

It's no exaggeration-student and full-time employees work in shifts that run from 12 a.m.-4 a.m., 4 a.m.-7 a.m., 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 12 p.m.-4 p.m., and 4 p.m.-12 a.m. 

Each shift is manned by student employees, many of whom are also on track and taking classes.  Custodial services is the largest employer of students at BYU-Idaho with more than 350 part-time students working Monday-Friday, all year long. 

"It is amazing to watch someone who wants that responsibility while they are in school," Watson said. 

One of those students, Sara Figueiredo, from Brazil, exemplifies the sacrifice these students make. Figueiredo and her husband attend school, both work part-time, and have a young daughter. With all of these factors, Figueiredo remains positive.

"I really like the environment, I enjoy the people I work with," Figueiredo said. "Working on campus is really nice, because we don't have to commute to another place."

While Watson recognizes the sacrifice these students are making, he believes their motivations are more impressive. 

"They are here first for their education, but they also have to feed themselves and have money to go to school," Watson said. "I think the drive behind them is that they are hard-working students, so they make the sacrifice to be able to get their education."

Custodial services employees are held to a high standard of cleanliness, higher than members of the church who clean church buildings each week. 

"We do have a standard of cleaning that is maintained throughout the church organization. Those levels are 1, 2, and 3," Watson explained. "Level 1 is our temple cleaning standard, level 2 is our campuses, and level 3 is our church buildings, which are maintained by volunteers. This says a lot about our students. They get up early or stay up late, and maintain a high level of cleanliness. I give our students an A+ for stepping up and providing this service."

These employees, Watson says, provide a necessary service for BYU-Idaho. 

"We help prevent diseases because our students keep this campus clean," said Watson. "Our students are proud to be here and proud to be involved."