Keeping it Clean

Caitlin Restelli

Roaming through dorm halls, it is likely to pass a housekeeper taking out the trash or mopping the bathroom floor between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

On the third and fourth floor of Centennial Court D, “friendly” was the common word used to describe Katrina Lawrence, the housekeeper.

Lawrence, 32, moved to Kent in the fifth grade from Mississippi. Seven years ago her father, also an employee of Kent State, told her the university was hiring for housekeeping. Since then, Lawrence has been part of the housekeeping team.

Working a five-day week is something earned by seniority. When housekeepers first start their jobs, they work Monday through Sunday. When someone leaves the system or new people are brought in, the people who have been there longer move up to the Monday through Friday workweek.

“I really do enjoy my job,” Lawrence said. “I really think (students) appreciate us.”

Lawrence said the atmosphere plays a role in the pride she takes in her job.

“I like working around other people,” she said. “I also like working around kids and getting to know them.”

Lawrence’s job entails more than making sure the students’ restrooms are squeaky clean. At the beginning of the day, Lawrence pulls the trash and then proceeds to check the outside grounds for trash.

Throughout the day, she will check the stairwells for trash, sweep, mop and sanitize them, check lounges for any damages or trash and finally, empty out the trash rooms.

Cleaning the restrooms in Centennial Court D is the most known work of Lawrence because she enters the students’ living space to clean them.

Lawrence chooses specific times and days to clean to make it easier for students. These times are posted on fliers hanging on the walls. This helps students plan, and Lawrence can make a schedule for herself.

Even though there are the daily tasks Lawrence accomplishes, there are the occasional unwanted tasks that need to be taken care of.

“Someone who is too drunk couldn’t make it to the toilet and throws up all of their food,” she said. “When I come back on Mondays, that is when I usually deal with throw up.”

Without Lawrence, many students may be trampling over vomit that has been sitting for a few days.

Student’s perception on housekeeping matches up with Lawrence’s prediction.

Brittany Miller, sophomore early childhood education major, resides in Centennial Court D.

“I’ve seen her go around and clean the bathrooms and stairwells,” Miller said. “She’s friendly and always says ‘hi.’”

Also residing in Centennial Court D is Murphy Redmond, sophomore visual communication design major, who sees Lawrence throughout the school week.

“I’ll always say ‘hi’ when she comes into my dorm and ‘thank you’ when she finishes cleaning my bathroom,” Redmond said. “I appreciate (housekeeping).”

Contact Caitlin Restelli at [email protected].