By Andrew Lehn —

The Applied Arts building is losing its custodians. Or so I’m told.

If you’ve seen an artist at work you know they can make a mess. Working with clay, foam, wood, paint, or any of the other myriad supplies necessary for art and design can be dirty work. So why does the custodial staff seem to be disappearing from Applied Arts?

Let’s scale that question back and ask if they are disappearing at all.

The problem appears to be at its worst in the sculpture studios, which makes sense. A room that is primarily used for the mixing of plaster is said to be especially bad, with the concrete floor hardly visible beneath plaster dust.  Again, some art students have recognized the “never too clean” nature of the art rooms. Art students do a great deal of cleaning up after themselves as is; it’s a necessary requirement when making as many messes as art students do.

Somewhat surprisingly, this is a hard issue to get people to talk about. Allegedly the movement of custodians is linked to the recent budget cuts and salaries have supposedly been affected. This is all speculation, though. It is also possible that this is simply a result of temporary staff shifting or some other temporary situation. Long story short, some custodians have moved but there are still custodians working in Applied Arts. The building has not been abandoned; its studios are still as relatively clean as art studios can be expected to be.

Regardless of this situation or how it is resolved in Applied Arts, this story should serve as a reminder to us all that the custodial department here at Stout is awesome, and that we cannot do without them. Largely unseen, they take out the trash, clean up the yards and make this campus a nice place to see, smell and touch. Remember to appreciate them, and make things a bit easier on everyone by being respectful with our messes.

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