Last Updated: August 10, 2018, 12:33 pm

Flu season keeps university custodians busy


During the night, when the majority of students are away from campus, the custodial staff is busy cleaning and disinfecting every classroom and restroom in all campus buildings. 

The custodial staff is divided into specialties and each specialist is responsible for their area. These are areas such as a light duty person who empties trash, disinfects and wipes everything down; a vacuum person, restroom cleaners and carpet cleaners and floor maintenance people, Jenna Brown, custodial manager said.

Dixie State University has a few large buildings such as the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons, M. Anthony Burns Arena and the Dolores Dore Eccles Fine Arts Center. With a lot of square feet to cover, the custodial staff ensures they have enough people to clean each building.

In order to address this issue, Brown said she has “leads” who are assigned to each building, and each lead have custodians assigned to them. This way, all of the buildings can be cleaned every night each week without overworking any members of the staff.

“[The amount of people] depends on the square footage of the building,” Brown said. “The general rule is 12,000 square feet per hour. So, we kind of go off of that.”

The Holland building, with the largest number of floors and combined square feet, would require at least two custodians per area.

“If most of the offices are dirty, it takes me about 30 minutes [to vacuum],” Custodian Katelyn Warner said. “If it’s pretty easy, I say about 10 minutes.” 

Warner said she and the other custodians assigned to the Holland work as a team because she vacuums the offices, another custodian cleans the classrooms and another cleans the halls and conference room.

John Ailenmohgbon, a freshman accounting major from Nigeria, said the number of people cleaning on a floor depends on how much work needs to be done and each person has there own responsibilities. 

Alieomohgbon said he is responsible for spraying the whiteboards with a cleaner similar to Windex and wiping them down, then he empties the trash of his assigned classrooms and another custodian cleans the classrooms he was not given.

“I clean the classrooms on the fifth floor[of the Holland], then I do classrooms on the fourth floor and the first floor,” Aileomohgbon said.

The main purpose for the custodial staff is not to clean up after students, but to maintain a germ-free environment for everyone on campus, Brown said. To accomplish this, the custodial staff disinfects every surface where students, faculty, employees and administration come into contact with. However, they do not use just any disinfectant Brown said.

“There’s different levels of disinfectant,” Brown said. “Sanitizer isn’t as strong as disinfecting. That’s why we disinfect, we don’t sanitize anything.” 

It takes at least 40 hours per week to clean the entire campus with 17 full-timers and 50 part-timers on the custodial staff.

“The Burns Arena takes us 17 hours just to do the general cleaning,” Brown said.

Students can help DSU be a healthier, cleaner campus and make the custodial staffs job easier by throwing trash away and washing their hands regularly to minimize litter and the spread of germs.