Zachariah: Service staff deserves more student appreciation

Tianna Zachariah

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board. 

Students need to be considerate and polite to facilities management personnel, bus drivers, and other staff that are in service positions around campus. Service people are essential to students’ daily routines. They do jobs that, more or less, nobody wants to do. From my experience with Colorado State University’s maintenance, they do their job with grace, pride, and enthusiasm. Students need to notice and acknowledge that whenever possible. 


This is the first year I’ve taken the bus to school, and the drivers are some of the nicest people I have met here at CSU. Their job is routine and simple, but without them transportation becomes highly inconvenient for students. 

According to a survey done by TransFort, over 60 percent of riders indicate that they ride the bus five or more times a week. About 47 percent of survey participants said that they do not have access to a personal vehicle, and almost 31 percent of them did not even have a driver’s license. Students rely on public transportation. We need bus drivers. Without them, some students would not be able to get to class in the morning. 

Society does not value facilities management as much as professors, administrators or fellow students. Though these jobs are valued less, they are the most necessary. As a student, I can go a few days without talking to my professors and I’ll be just fine. However, chaos would ensue if students went a few days without bathrooms being cleaned or trash being taken out. We need facilities management every day of the week. We should honor and respect the people who do them because they take responsibility for things the rest of us don’t want to do.

Alma Tejada is a custodian here at CSU. She’s been here for 15 years and works in the LSC and Clark. She gets paid hourly, and the students she serves hold a very special place in her heart. However, even she experiences cold and pretentious behavior by students.  

“Sometimes students are rude to me, but maybe 98 percent are nice, my friends and beautiful,” said Tejada. “I’m friendly and I say, ‘Good morning!’ to students. Sometimes they respond and are so nice, other times, no.”

Students can occasionally take advantage of these services. I lived on campus for three years, which means I ate in the dining halls for three years. It was unbelievable the mentality students hold about people in the service industry.

Senior Emily Ross has worked in Corbett Hall for 2 years, and has some advice: “Don’t dump your food all over the table. I’m not your mother.”

According to Ross, students who work in the dining halls typically start at $9.30 with a free meal if the shift is longer than 3 hours. Yes, this is their job, but students are not above making it easier for them. I’ve seen students get up and leave their dishes on the tables and their crumbs everywhere. 

TransFort driver Cale Brehio shares what she hopes students will uphold, “Treat service people like you would like to be treated on your worst day.”

Say ‘hi’ to your bus driver in the morning. Thank the custodian in the LSC for taking out the trash during lunch. Pick up your dishes and wipe down the table after you’re done eating. Acknowledge these people whenever you have the chance. They absolutely deserve it.  


Tianna Zachariah can be reached at or online at @TZachariah20