Floor scrubbers, carpet cleaners, buffers, vacuums, extractors and a group of BYU custodial supervisors took over the first floor of the Wilkinson Student Center right outside the office of Multicultural Student Services Monday.
Some BYU students, employees and visitors wondered what was going on, as they had no choice but to walk through the custodial meeting to reach their destinations in the Wilkinson Student Center.
“I didn’t expect to see that many carpet and tile cleaners and people all in one place,” said Lata Sitake, 20, a sophomore from Salt Lake City majoring in secondary mathematics. “And I didn’t realize they put that much time and effort into choosing cleaning equipment.”
Meanwhile, custodial supervisors were busily engaged in testing cleaning equipment before deciding to purchase them, said John Graves, custodial supervisor in activities support.
“Until you can get your hands on it and use it over and over again, you can’t really find out how good a piece of equipment it is,” he said.
Proper equipment is what helps custodial workers do their job well, Graves said.
“Terry Hatch knows we’re the ones who use the equipment, so it’s to his advantage to know how good or bad we think it is,” he said. “Then he goes out to the companies we visit with, gets the best price and purchases the equipment we decide on.”
The choice of location for the cleaning equipment demo was chosen wisely, said Terry Hatch, purchasing agent at BYU.
The first floor area of the Wilkinson Student Center was good for testing the different types of equipment because the carpet and tiled floor meet right in that area, Hatch said.
“We also tried to pick an area that was a little less crowded,” he said. “We’ve tried it before in classroom buildings and during breaks it became a hindrance for the students.”
He said people who happened to encounter the cleaning equipment demonstration didn’t know if they were allowed to pass through the meeting.
“Some of them were hesitant to walk through because they didn’t want to intrude or interrupt while someone was talking,” Hatch said. “And I think they were a little intimidated by us until we told them to go ahead and walk through.”
Graves said he and other custodial workers use some cleaning equipment in the set up and clean up of athletic events like volleyball, and they take a lot of pride in what they do.
“When people go home after the game, it’s a mess and we have to clean it up,” he said. “It’s not magic – it takes lots of concentration on the part of a lot of people.”