Students lack concern for campus grounds

Marina McGowan

Fed up with the blatant, non-respect that students have for the university and themselves, Associate Director of Facilities Robert Bisighini stresses this lack of concern for the campus grounds that leaves the Facilities Department with a mess to clean.
“We try to treat the students like adults and create a nice environment for the students to live in by trying to maintain this place at a high level,” said Bisighini. “The department takes pride in what we do, and it is only fair if the students meet us halfway.”
The university has put a lot of effort into making the campus more pleasing and environmentally safe and sound, an effort that began 21 years ago, Bisighini said.
Today, with the help of the Facilities Department, the university is continuing its quest in making the campus landscape appealing and welcoming in the eyes of prospective students, current students, faculty and staff.
The 92 part-time and full-time employees in the Facilities Department maintain the Quinnipiac University campus, which is comprised of more than 350 acres and approximately 1,200,000 square feet of building space.
About 180-190 acres, consisting of athletic fields and the main campus area, are highly maintained by groundskeepers, said Bisighini.
There are ten groundskeepers that assist in the cleanup of the campus grounds, 56 custodians that take care of the interiors of the buildings and 18 mechanics, including electricians, heating, carpenters, ventilating, air-conditioner, auto and general mechanics that take care of mechanical problems.
Four custodians are on duty at night and they clean the dining hall, the Carl Hansen Student Center and clean up after events. One mechanic and one supervisor are available at night in case major problems arise and there is one part-time groundskeeper on campus during the weekends.
The groundskeepers work 40 hours per week for 52 weeks per year, totaling about 2,080 hours per employee.
At the start of each day, a groundskeeper spends about one and a half hours cleaning the litter throughout the campus, picking up cigarette butts, cleaning the parking lots and emptying the trashcans left behind from the previous day.
For the rest of their workday they are in charge of litter control and ground maintenance, which includes cutting the grass, maintaining the plant beds, removing snow, weeding, setting up for internal and external events on campus and maintaining the athletic fields.
Yearly, the university spends approximately $350,000 for the groundskeeper’s service and approximately $132,000 for grounds supplies. This includes sand, soil, fertilizer, weed control and snow removal costs for the outside contractors who plow the main parking lots and main roads.
The university also spends approximately $100,000 for a capital grounds account, which is money used to maintain areas to a certain extent. This includes major renovations, the redoing of the baseball field, new trash barrels, redoing steps in the Village, parking lots or sidewalks.
The Facilities Department is located on the south side of campus at the new facilities building, next to the Dean Robert W. Evans College of Liberal arts, also called Pine Grove. The department tries to lead by example and pick up things that they see on the floor.
“If the students don’t show us any signs in trying to help us, it gets frustrating,” said Bisighini. “I have seen students dropping gum and cigarettes on the floor when they are less than five feet from the trash, and it’s facilities that have to clean it up. The students should learn not to litter.”