Through out our lives and in all endeavors…we have to prioritize our focus.
When I became a married man I knew from the moment that Mary Jane placed her little hand in mine and we turned around to face the attendees at our wedding…that I was going to have to begin…immediately…thinking about my wife’s needs and wants and dreams and our collaboration together.
When Aaron was born and I carried him into our little four room house in Elkville, Illinois…I knew that, now, my level of responsibility and love and concern and vision for the future…had increased by one.
When Jonathon was born and soon ran through the house and put Aaron’s toy truck in the toilet and flushed and then announced, joyfully, what he had done…I realized that my family of four and their individual needs and concerns were to be my concerns and my vision for our future.
When I began working at SIUC I, rapidly, understood how important the Building Services department was to the, global, betterment of the campus and the vital and integral needs of the recruitment and retention of our students.
I soon realized that there were many, essential, functions that our professional housekeeping team provided…that if we did not…not only would health and welfare suffer, but students and their parents would not choose SIUC and if they did…they would not stay.
I pointed out to chancellors and presidents, alike, that the reduction of our staff would cause rest rooms to be unsanitary and with no paper goods.
Classrooms would have Daily Egyptians and hamburger wrappers and used coffee cups…that would have to be kicked out of the doorways and dirty chalk boards with no chalk to write with.
Many of the tile floors at SIU are old tile made of asbestos. If these tile floors are not maintained properly and our not coated with wax on a regular basis…the asbestos will become friable and a present health danger to the university community.
Many of the student workers that work in Building Services, are living so close to the margins, that to loose their job is to loose their ability to attend SIUC.
I am pleased to see such good leadership of PSO…now…because I have lived through long periods of time where custodial staff were told that they were non-essential.
I would liken this to the man who painted his living room…while his kitchen…was on fire.
Now, keep in mind…the issues that I am referring to…were many years ago….I have been retired for nearly 8 years.
But, one thing that was extremely evident to me was that the precious staff of Building Services is some of the most dedicated people that the university has…and their ideas and their thoughts and their solutions to problems…is critical to the success of this crucial and indispensable service for our beloved alma mater.