May 2005, Vol. 6 No. 6
Staff Profile: Henry Matthews
Chronicle of Higher Education to Feature AUB in a Series of Stories
In the Memory of Nurse Mazen El Zahabi
Two New Appointments at the Office of Financial Planning
AUB Book Club Celebrates First Anniversary
Women’s League Elects New Board
Graduate Education Students Present Research Results
Technical Problems Mar Drama Club’s Newest Productions
All-Female Cast Stars in Richard II Play Reading
Book Review: Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings by Muhammad Ali Khalidi
Custodial Services Workshop Promotes Health, Safety, and Cleanliness
An Artist Explores His Arab Roots
Custodial services are not just about cleaning. This was the basic message that was delivered during the 17-hour training workshop that was held in March. Attended by all 133 custodians of AUB, both full-time and casuals, the workshop exercise was devoted to the many facets of custodial affairs and concluded with a general review and discussion, as well as a survey that sought feedback on everything from the quality of the detergents custodians use to the their relationships with their supervisors.
This is the third workshop that Elie Issa, custodial manager of The Physical Plant, has run. He literally “wrote the book” on custodial services at AUB. The book, which was finished in 2000, took about four years to put together and covers all aspects of custodial responsibilities, policies, and procedures. It now serves as the basis for the workshop.
Issa began the workshop this year by posing some questions: “Why are you here? Who are your customers? What are your responsibilities toward AUB?” Besides the professional responsibility of cleaning, custodians must also address the issue of their own safety, including the proper use of chemicals and tools, as well as the safety of others, such as maintaining a hygienic environment to reduce bacteria and other infectious agents. There is also the matter of economic concerns, which includes saving energy and water and working in an efficient manner.
Of course, issues about cleaning were also addressed; among them methods for cleaning different types of tile, the crystallization process, how and when to wax, carpeting shampoo, the proper way to clean telephones and computers, and cleaning restrooms in a healthy way. Although Issa handled most of the training, he also brought in guest speakers from the AUB community—from the Safety Center, Plant Engineering, and Communications—as well as a few industry representatives who gave short presentations on how to use cleaning products efficiently.
Issa says that this training is very beneficial in bringing everyone together, promoting customer satisfaction, and addressing the wide variety of custodial responsibilities. It is also a good way to introduce new procedures and cleaning methods, as well as to reinforce policies related to such issues as punctuality, absenteeism, and dress code. He emphasized that “custodians are a circle within a larger circle,” and that their presence at AUB is as important and essential as that of other employees. This may seem obvious, but one can hardly appreciate this clean and orderly campus without recognizing how it is kept that way and by whom.