MSU President’s Column for Traill County Tribune

March 23, 2019

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Pictured above are most members of the physical plant, dining services, and facilities services staff at Mayville State.

   In the front (l-r) are Karen Peterson, Gary Stordahl, Meggi Mitzel, Marissa Blaufuss, Nicole Midstokke, and Leta Holsinger.

   Standing in the back are Bob Kozojed, Brad Papenfuss, John Peterson, Tracy Juhnke, Doug Eastman, Brian Norstebon, Tim Sorteberg, Dan Lorenz, Matthew Eastman, David Moeller, Donavan Linder, Bryan Karolus, Becky Jorgenson, Karoline Jacobson, Tom Moen, Alice Rice, Andrew Steele, and Jamie Eriksson. Not pictured from the dining services staff are Kristine Carl, Don Williams, and Mallory Angen. Physical plant staff not pictured are Cameron Ladue, Craig Bye, and boiler operators Kevin Hanson, Mike Crawford, Brandon Henderson, Jon Nygard, and Jake Jaffa.

Physical plant, facilities services, and dining services staff make a difference

It’s been quite a winter! Lots of snow and cold temperatures have made for some interesting times. Throw in strong winds here and there, and you’ve got the makings for blizzards, weather advisories, and more.

Safety concerns for our students, faculty, and staff have led us to cancelling classes and closing offices on a number of days. Even though the campus is closed, we know that many of our staff need to be on campus to carry out their assigned tasks. Our services staff work excessively hard to ensure that campus business continues, even when classes do not meet and offices are closed. We applaud the many who serve … in rain, sleet, or snow … and every day.

Dining services staff are on campus every day of the week, blizzard or blue skies, throughout the academic year, providing meals for our residential and other students, faculty, and staff. Tasty and satisfying meals are an important component in keeping our students happy and retained, so we know the efforts of the dining services staff are important and valued.

We often take for granted the fact that the weather conditions have a big impact on many of the members of the Mayville State staff. Our boiler operators are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week fall through spring to keep the campus buildings heated.

Throughout the winter, custodians are busy shoveling snow around building entrances, applying ice melt, and cleaning up all the wet and dirty show tracks that show up in their buildings because of it. This is in addition to their regular ongoing custodial duties.

The extraordinary amount of snow this year has meant that physical plant employee Tom Moen has spent about 450 hours in the Bobcat clearing snow from sidewalks, parking lots, and more. His days often begin at 3:30 a.m. so he can have the campus in ship-shape by the time faculty and staff begin to arrive and students are heading to classes before 8 a.m. His efforts are definitely noticed by all on campus, and his cheerful disposition is the icing on the cake. When he’s not moving snow, he’s working on other projects that need attention around campus, and he does this with a smile on his face as well as a friendly “hello” to the people he encounters.

In addition to Tom’s efforts, we’ve had to call in reinforcements for use of heavy equipment to remove snow. So far this winter, $2,000 has been spent for this purpose.

We all know that lots of snow also makes for lots of ice. Physical plant and facilities services staff have applied about 7,400 pounds of ice melt this season. Wow!

Please join me in thanking and recognizing our dedicated staff for their outstanding work, which has at times seemed endless over the last several months. These people are very important to Mayville State and its students. They have a huge role in our student retention efforts as they interact with our students every day and often make a lasting impact in their lives. We are truly grateful to all of the Mayville State employees who are committed to providing a safe and comfortable campus for all to enjoy.