The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Janitors are the backbone of campus operations

Janitors closet in URS. Photo by Antelope Staff

Your friend had a bit too much fun last weekend and left a mess in the dorm bathrooms. But by the next day, the bathrooms are clean and the mess is nowhere to be seen.

You finished enjoying Chick-fil-A fries at the Union, leaving crumbs scattered on the table. When you return a few hours later, the table is spotless.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, as you rush out of your 9 a.m. class, you toss out your empty Starbucks cup. Each time, the bin is miraculously empty, ready for the next round of trash.

What’s the secret behind this campus cleaning wizardry? It isn’t wizards, but rather the custodial staff that quietly work behind the scenes to ensure our environment remains clean, safe and conducive to learning. Yet, despite their role in maintaining the fabric of our UNK community, janitors are overlooked and underappreciated.

We believe they deserve more praise for the work they do in keeping our campus clean.

Janitors are the backbone of our campus operations. Without their contributions, everything would be chaos. They act as the eyes and ears of our campus, reporting maintenance issues and security concerns, ensuring that our facilities are not only clean but also safe. They interact with students, faculty and staff with kindness, making our campus feel like a second home.

 As prospective students go on campus tours and current students live their daily lives, the condition of buildings and living spaces significantly influences the quality of the stay. The diligence of the custodial staff plays a big part in shaping these experiences and keeping our spaces beautiful.

While having clean buildings is important for aesthetic and visual purposes, it’s even more essential for health and sanitation.

College is a huge bubble where thousands of students interact, sharing the same germs. With social circles interconnecting rapidly, contagions can spread across campus in no time. The thought of this situation spiraling out of control without our janitors is something we’d rather not entertain.

It’s time for us students to give janitors the appreciation they deserve. We must recognize that their work is essential and invaluable to our campus community. 

The Antelope staff was each able to recall a friendly interaction they have had with a UNK custodian, ranging from a daily greeting in the dorm bathrooms to the thoughtful gesture of bringing our team a fan to cool down the newsroom.

Although many students already do, acknowledging their efforts with gestures of gratitude, such as saying “thank you”, can go a long way. With that being said, showing more appreciation for the custodial staff doesn’t equate to persisting in making messes but with a smile on your face.

Take a moment to reflect on all the messes you leave behind that are swiftly cleaned up throughout the day. Perhaps, like us, you’ll begin to see the janitors as magical too.

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