Away from home … for many a stark realization. It means a separation from family, home and mother. Mother … that ever toiling servant… picking up clothes strewn over the floor, cooking over a hot stove, washing dishes with Palmolive, washing clothes with Fab and trying to remove the ring around the collar.
Suddenly, a student is removed from the home atmosphere and propelled into the life of a dormitory.
Mother is not there anymore.
Responsibility. Washing clothes in the coin laundry, eating at the school cafeteria, sharing a restroom with other people and cleaning your own room.
What about the other aspects of cleanliness? Who takes care of the dormitory?
Well, for the dormitories on campus, it is the maids. (Sorry, they like to be called custodians). These three persons clean Studebaker Hanawalt and Brandt Hall.
The custodians work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. They arrive at the security office early in the morning, punch in at the time clock and head to Stu-Han and Brandt, respectively.
S.T. Lott and Cipriana Beltran work at Stu-Han.
Lott, who is from Seattle, Wash., has only been in California for seven months.
“The weather is much colder in Washington than in La Verne. I like the weather here,” Lott affirmed.
Lott has been working in Stu-Han since June of 1981. “It was very different working in the summer. It was scary, working with no one around. During the summer, we prepared for fall. We clean the drawers and mirrors. We also wax and buff the desks in the rooms,” he said.
Beltran has lived in La Verne all her life. Like Lott, she has a background in custodial work. She began working in Stu-Han in September.
“I think it is nice when the girls show that they appreciate us. The girls don’t give us a bad time,” acknowledged Beltran.
Wing Four residents have especially endeared themselves to “Ms. Cippy,” as they affectionately, call her. Messages to her are posted on the wing door; the girls thank her for cleaning up the restrooms, halls and laundry rooms.
Beltran recalled how she felt the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
“I felt like crying. Almost all the girls were gone. Stu-Han was empty. I felt so alone. You know how it feels when no one else is around. That is how I felt,” said Beltran.
Lott concurs with Beltran about the loneliness experienced during Thanksgiving.
Obviously, these people have become attached to their place of employment, especially when they deal with many people on a day-to day basis.
Lott enjoys working with the girls; he does not mind working in a women’s dormitory.
He said, “I respect the ladies … I mind my own business. Sometimes they cheer me up when they talk to me. Other times, I cheer them up.”
Of each other’s jobs, Lott and Beltran agree on one thing. They both say the other is a good worker. That is what makes a great team, they agreed.
Johnny Lopez works in Brandt Hall. He cleans the hall, restrooms and laundry rooms on the three floors at Brandt. Lopez is very adamant about one thing.
“No way,” he said. “I don’t like being called a maid. I am not a maid. I am a custodian.”
Lopez does not mind working on the third floor at Brandt, the women’s floor.
“I say hello to the girls, and they say ‘hi’ to me. I like my job. So far, it is so good; I hope to stay here for a long time,” he said.
Lopez’s statement captures the feeling of the other custodians; they want to stay here for a long time.
Ammonia, Ajax cleanser, paper towels, mops, vacuum cleaners, scrub brushes, and mops … all in a day’s work for the friendly custodians in Stu-Han and Brandt.