Better Know a Building Attendant: Sylvia Gonzales

“Better Know a Building Attendant” is a series at the Forum dedicated to introducing students at Claremont McKenna College to their Building Attendants.  The series will run every Friday morning until the end of the semester.  This interview is the second of thirteen. Sylvia Gonzales is the shy building attendant for Fawcett Hall. She loves history and even shares some of her own with CMC. Sylvia’s name is on the fountain outside Bauer, celebrating her 30th anniversary as an employee of Claremont McKenna College. For the last five years, Sylvia has been the building attendant for Fawcett Hall. Sylvia’s sister, Jennie, has also been at Claremont McKenna just as long. Sylvia will mark her 32nd year at CMC this November.

Q: In your work here at the school, how do you interact with the students?  Do you see them on a regular basis?

A: I see them every day when I clean rooms and they’re always nice, they’re wonderful people.  I respect them and they respect me.  So it works out pretty good that way.  There is never a dull moment, and I am always willing to share a laugh with them. (laughter)

Q: Do you ever find anything funny in their rooms?

A: Not yet. (laughter)

Q: Are they generally pretty clean over here in Fawcett?

A: They’ve been pretty good so far, I don’t know for how long though. (laughter)

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

A: I love going to Olvera Street, and to the Grand Central Market.  I do a lot of walking at each. At Grand Central I get a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, and get some time in the sun.

Q: What else do you do?

I like to visit the California missions. I could visit them over and over and over again and not get tired of them. They are so full of history.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: I eat a lot of Mexican and Chinese food. I’ve tried Brazilian food, but I mostly stick to Mexican. (What about other foods?) I like Italian, especially bruschetta, and I’ve tried pesto.

Q: Where do you live now?

A: In Ontario, it’s a short commute to the college.

Q: Your sister is a fellow building attendant, do you enjoy working with her?

A: It’s nice to have my sister here. It saves us on gas to get to work. But I enjoy working with the whole team, all of the building attendants; especially in the summer when we work closely together to do a deep clean of the dorms.

Q: Any last thoughts?

A: Nothing really, I love the kids. Oh, and I’m not running like Ilma.

Sylvia is shy in front of the cameras, but is appreciative that students want to get to know her and the other building attendants. Jokingly she tells me to get going so she can get back to work. Share your favorite story about Sylvia below in the comments section.

Student’s can do their share to make Sylvia’s life just a little bit easier. Pick up that red Solo cup, and remember to say hello to your building attendant.

Interested in getting involved in appreciating our support staff? The Worker’s Support Committee (WSC) meets on Thursdays at 7:30pm.in Marks Lounge. Each month WSC holds student sponsored appreciation events for our service staff. 

Want more "Better Know a Building Attendant?" Check out part one, the GreenDorm.