“The power of a small college,” is a phrase that we have all heard
more than once, but that sense of community extends beyond the
students and professors.
The Day Cleaning Crew is a small community unto themselves, who
are a part of the Linfield community.
Javier Mendoza, cleaning services supervisor, started working at Linfield as a member of
the night crew. He worked the graveyard shift for four years before switching to the daytime shift
two years ago. He starts work at 4 a.m. to meet with the night crew, and then later in the day he
meets with the day crew. Mendoza became cleaning services supervisor in 2006, adding a few more
responsibilities to his job, such as training new workers and briefing both crews. After work, Mendoza
spends time with his two children, who are 15- and 5-years-old. Mendoza is also furthering his
education at Linfield, and is taking a financial accounting class. Also, he is taking courses in math and
health at Chemekta Community College. Despite all of his responsibilities, he finds a way to fit all of it
into his busy schedule.
Eric Chapman, day cleaning crew member, learned about the work at Linfield from a friend.
He has worked at the college for seven years, beginning on the night crew before being moved to the
Day Crew. He has settled into a routine of working in the day and relaxing at home in the evenings.
“I’ve been neglecting my truck,” Chapman said. “I got a Toyota pickup, and I cleaned up the wheels
and the chrome.” Fishing, hunting and other woodsy activities are hobbies that Chapman enjoys
fitting into his schedule. He grew up in the Midwest and moved to Oregon after his parents’ divorce.
“My mother’s sister lived in Lincoln City,” he said. “That’s where I finished school.” When he was
younger, he ran cross country, played football and interested in bowling. “I was very hyper when I was
MaryRose Rose, resident hall assistant supervisor, has worked at Linfield since 1989. She
began as a temporary worker, and was later hired to work nights. When her husband died, she made
the move to the day shift. Rose is in charge of preparing work study students for the cleaning crew.
She also assigns students to custodians, does book work, helps Mendoza with pest control, hands
out supplies and occasionally cleans up bodily fluids. At home, Rose enjoys sitting down with a good
murder mystery novel to relax after a hard day’s work. She also comes to campus plays, movie nights
and summer concerts. Her favorite part about working at Linfield is the variety of experiences she
has, which include anything from removing a bird from a student’s room to having a conversation
with a student. Rose reports directly to Mendoza, but she used to be Mendoza’s boss. “I am so glad he
took that job,” Rose said about Mendoza. “He’s really smart. We work great together.”
Maria Cerda, day cleaning crew member,
began working at Linfield as a temporary worker. She applied for an open position but worked three
months filling in for someone on the Day Crew, then three months working as a temporary worker on
the Night Crew before she received a full-time position on the Day Crew. Cerda’s halls are Memorial
and Terrel, but she cleans the women’s bathrooms in Mahaffey, Frerichs and Larsell in the mornings.
She tries to fit in time to relax, but with two 6- and 4-year-old children on her hands, she often has
a lot of work at home as well. “When I have vacation, I go to Mexico,” she said. Cerda usually tries
to go during the winter to visit her family in Michoacan with her children and husband. The work at
Linfield has given Cerda a perspective that she never had before. “I like interacting with the students
who have worked with us during the summer, talking to them, and sometimes they speak to me when
they have little problems, especially the Hispanic ones,” she said.
Michael Prewitt, day cleaning crew member, started working at Linfield eight years ago.
Prewitt’s day begins like that of any other crew member. In the morning he cleans the bathrooms of
Campbell, Frerichs and Whitman, and around midday, he cleans the entirety of the residence halls -
vacuuming, sweeping, changing garbage bags, etc. During his days off, Prewitt spends as much time
as possible at the coast, and after work, he relaxes by watching television with his wife. He enjoys
watching reality shows including ‘Survivor,’ ‘The X-Factor’ and ‘American Idol.”
Sandra Nixon, day cleaning crew leader, began working at Linfield when her children started
to grow up and ask her to buy them things. She had worked at the college multiple times before
deciding to apply for a job on the night crew. “I had the opportunity to come to days,” Nixon said.
“It was great for me because I was 40-years-old and working graveyard for the very first time.” It
took a few weeks for Nixon to adjust her sleeping patterns to nights. The change to days wasn’t much
different. “You don’t really realize it, but once you come back to day shift that’s when it hits you you’ve
just kind of been in a fog all this time,” she said. Nixon is in charge of Pioneer and Hewitt Hall. To
relax, Nixon enjoys watching Jeopardy and the news and checking her Facebook. The student body is
her favorite part of working at Linfield. “They’re always having fun and a good time.”
Gilberto Galvez /Features editor
Gilberto Galvez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org