TAMU-CC custodial staff speaks about coronavirus cleanliness

A lecture hall with a plexiglass screen is sanitized

Photo courtesy of Mar-Comm/TAMU-CC

A lecture hall with a plexiglass screen is sanitized

Gabriella Ruiz, Sports Editor

Returning back to campus for the fall of 2020 was not like any other normal school year. Now with the spring semester for 2021 students, faculty and staff members are more aware of how things have transitioned, with students being able to attend more in person classes by following the protocols set by the university. 

Unfortunately with the coronavirus, TAMU-CC has to keep face-to-face classes safe, with students being given the option to remain fully online if they do not feel safe returning. 

Manager for the Custodial Department, Crystal Marley has been working here at TAMU-CC for about  nine years. When the coronavirus first started, Marley and her team continued to stay on campus the entire time when TAMU-CC fully went online. 

Marley mentioned how it was hard for them when they had to go home to their families with worries that they were exposed to COVID. Marley also stated they had to train their custodians correctly to be able to clean and disinfect two times a day in classrooms, restrooms, touch points and common areas with the use of electric sprayers. 

“We have always been here through COVID-19 since day one,” said Marley, “When faculty and students came back it was still hard for us with the numbers of students and faculty coming back on campus. We’re just trying to keep safe and making sure everybody on campus feels safe and comfortable being back on campus.”

Southeast Services Solutions Supervisor, Cynthia Gonzales mentioned how she and her crew felt great about getting back to normal to see students, faculty and staff all around the campus. The custodians clean twice a day by disinfecting all the touching points as soon as they come in for their shift and right when they clock out at night. Gonzales stated how seeing the students makes them motivated to do their job and in the beginning when the pandemic happened she mentioned how everyone was scared about losing their job. 

With some classrooms being used more than once a day, they don’t have a custodian to clean those classrooms every time a class has ended. That’s why the university supplied students with their own disinfectant spray to clean their areas. She addressed that when the classes are over for the day, those classrooms are being cleaned from top to bottom by her team members late at night and early in the mornings. 

“I would want the students to take the responsibility to go ahead and clean the area when they’re done,” said Gonzales, “I really wish they will all do that just as a safety for all of us as well so that we can have more people come back on campus to make things back to normal to the way it used to be. If we keep on doing what we’re doing and if the students do their part as well, we’ll be ready to go back to normal. If COVID is still here in the fall we’re going to keep on fighting, we’re not going to give up, this is our job that we love to do.” 

As we continue into our third semester with the coronavirus, it is imperative that students continue following coronavirus safety protocols.