Custodians deserve greater assistance for maintenance of school cleanliness

Throughout our days as South students, we often take for granted the sanitary, trash-free environment in which we learn. We have the custodians (who prefer not to be referred to as janitors; they consider the term derogatory) to thank for their tireless maintenance of the cleanliness of our school.

It has come to the attention of the Oracle Editorial Board that action needs to be taken in order to help the people that do so much for our school. Members of the Editorial Board talked to an anonymous group of custodians who expressed their thoughts on the matter.

The Oracle Editorial Board wants to shed some light on the work that the custodians do besides cleaning, for most students assume it’s their only job. They go beyond their custodial duty by setting up rooms for events, directing visitors to their destination within the school and troubleshooting various maintenance issues, ranging from making repairs to changing a lightbulb.

The maintenance staff contributes greatly to the first impression of the school. They strive to keep the school in the best condition and it not only reflects upon the custodial staff but also upon the students and faculty that use the facilities within our school.

Thousands of South visitors commend the staff for upholding the sanitation and beauty that the school has to offer, and we believe that the custodians are responsible for setting off the chain reaction of making the school the esteemed learning environment it is.

With this in mind, both the Editorial Board and the custodial staff ask that students and faculty meet the maintenance staff halfway to sustain the cleanliness of the school. Whether it be throwing away garbage that isn’t yours or helping clean up manageable messes, any effort towards assisting the custodians would be greatly appreciated.

We understand that students and staff do what they can within their convenience, and the majority of the school keeps it in great shape. For the small percentage of people who think it is acceptable to leave trash on the floor out of “convenience” while there is a garbage receptacle only a few feet away, we would like to acknowledge, on behalf of the custodians, that the garbage doesn’t just disappear overnight.

There are people behind the cleaning process. Members of the day and night staff work for hours to make sure that everyone can enjoy a clean and safe environment.

The job itself has a lot of value and importance just as any job does. According to the group of custodians the Oracle interviewed, the perception among students—and of society in general—is that the custodians only took this job because they aren’t qualified for other career fields.

On the contrary, they took this job to support their families and pay for degrees along with various other expenses that call for a solid income. They have the same worth as any person working any job, and what is most important is that they love the school and the people in it.

Many people don’t care about the messes they make simply because it is the custodians’ job to clean it. Although that is true, few take the time to think about and consider those behind the work.

At the end of the day, the members of the custodial staff love the school: the staff, the students and the management. That is why they do the most that they can to make the school exist in the best state. The school is hard to maintain, yet they do it, and they would appreciate some help.

The Maintenance Department at South is a critical part of the school, and these integral members of South’s community should not be treated as subordinates just because they clean up messes. It’s never too soon to start a stronger collaboration with the custodians. We can make the school and our collective experience in it even more positive than it already is.