The Family

Imagine strolling through campus.  You imagine walking through the with nice lush green grass, trees kept trim, everything looking clean.  Now imagine it with grass up to your knees, trees hanging all over, garbage blowing in the wind.  Go into the dorms and there’s last Saturdays night after party still in the sink, trash cans over-flowing, hair clogging up the shower drains, dirt smeared on the windows, and everyone sneezing from touching other’s germs.  Campus would be a mess without the people that clean this place up.  Not only would campus be a mess but unless we all walked around in sanitized bubbles, we would be a sick mess to.

At home we have our parents take care of us and our homes.  Here, the staff is like another family to us.  Ms. Roxy, the custodian for Racey Hall talks about and embraces the family aspects of Shenandoah University.

Ms. Roxy has been on this campus for eight years, switching from a Sodexo worker to a campus worker. She watched students grow during their time here.  In the last eight years she has seen it all, including a big fight in the dining hall between to guys.  A fight over a girl that got so big security had to come and break it up.

The past few years she has been the custodian in Racey Hall.  A freshmen community style dorm.  This is a dorm known for being a wild one.  The third floor lounge is notorious for late night study parties and hook up sessions.  But being a community style dorm also makes it the most family like dorm on campus.  The rooms are the smallest on campus so everyone keeps their doors open or just spend their time in the lounge or lobby.  Having to share a bathroom with the floor makes it easy to make friends with your hall and your custodian.  Since the bathroom is open it is constantly being cleaned for all the use it gets from the students.

Even though students have to share all of the restrooms, she is happy the students here are usually quite clean.  Although they are freshmen living there so there are times she needs to clean up the bathroom after the weekend, but said “usually they attempt to try to clean it up themselves.”  She just finishes it.  But she claims she hasn’t “had an incident so that’s good.”

The best part about her job is “meeting new students each year” and how everybody seem’s like they’re family around here.”  Over the years she has made student friends here.  “Some years are more talkative than others” but every year there are students in the dorms to talk to.  And she remember and appreciates every one.  Some go back to their freshman stomping grounds to check in on her and some give her cards.

Not only is there a family in the dorms but Ms. Roxy excitedly talked about her work family.  The custodians and physical plant workers that have the same times are a family in their own.  Just like any family they get into fights but always work it out.  They’re a family that sticks together and holds the campus together.

We see them all over campus.  In the background, secretly keeping the entire university together.  Keeping the lawns looking fresh and buildings clean.  It’s not the president or all the Dr.s we have on campus, it’s all the staff.  Without them campus wouldn’t be as prestige as it is.

Next time you’re walking by a staff member on campus or in the dorms, say hi.  The workers on this campus are some of the friendliest people around.  They embody the meaning of the university and are proud to be here.  They too are a Hornet.  They all have their own stories of how they ended up here, tell them yours and they will tell you theirs.  They’ve been here long enough to know how one succeeds and does not in college, listen to them.  They are wise and have seen what everyone has gone through, they are our family and know how to help.

This university is accepting of everyone that walks on to this campus.  There is a good chance the custodian cleaning up your dorm has seen years of students just like you and as different from you as you as it can get.  They have seen it all.  They have seen new buildings go up around campus and the classes double in size.  They have been keeping this university together since day one and know exactly how it works.


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