Last week, Texas State celebrated the hard work and unconditional kindness offered by one particular staff.
Sept. 10-14 is International Housekeeping Week, a week dedicated to honoring the hard work of custodial staff members. Observing International Housekeeping Week at Texas State allows students to become more aware of custodians and appreciative of their work.
The amount of positive influence custodial staff has on the institution has long been acknowledged by administration. For 25 years, Texas State has recognized the custodial staff during International Housekeeping Week.
Last week, each department threw individual celebrations to honor their custodial staffs. Gordon Green, director of facilities management, said his office took their staff bowling.
“It’s a time to unwind, talk and have some good camaraderie,” Green said.
Green said International Housekeeping Week also hosted multiple games and festivities for the staff to engage with such as basketball games, catwalks, and peanut sweeping competitions.
Green said in the past they have even created a toilet paper game. The game entailed seeing which staff member could shoot a roll of toilet paper through a toilet seat attached to a 35-gallon trash can.
While the week will be full of games, gratitude for the custodial staffs’ work is a major theme. Green said custodians are the invisible staff that keep the university moving.
Ricardo Enriquez, custodian, has worked at Texas State for seven years.
Enriquez said the most important part of his job is making an impact on students’ days. He said greetings and inquiries make the day better for both the students and himself.
“It’s just courtesy,” Enriquez said. “You just hope their day goes better.”
Enriquez goes above and beyond the call of duty in various ways throughout his workdays. He said he enjoys doing little things for students, especially around the holidays.
“Halloween is one of my favorite things,” Enriquez said. “Last year, I bought a lot of jack-o-lanterns and put them inside the restrooms full of candies for everyone.”
Zachary Espinoza, history junior, said he recalls only positive encounters with custodial staff.
Espinoza said he lived at Sterry Hall his freshman year and noticed the custodial staffs’ kindness. One staff member quickly became his friend.
“She always asked me how my parents were or how my classes were going,” Espinoza said. “I always try to be nice to [housekeeping staff] because of it.”
International Housekeeping Week provides an opportunity for students and staff to recognize custodians for their consistent hard work. Celebrations across campus are intended to remind the custodial staff of the gratitude their work warrants.