DAY IN THE LIFE: Housekeeper, full-time student works to keep campus clean

By Alexandra Richardson
Staff Writer

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series detailing a typical day in the life of a Union student or employee.

Custodial worker Gregory Perry is not only an employee of Union but also a full-time student.

Perry, junior social work major, is a Jackson native. He began working as a housekeeper for Union University in 2007, and in 2009 he began taking classes as well, at the urging of his wife, Veronica Perry, who also is a full-time student and Union employee.

“I eventually started a full-time schedule.” Perry said, “It was an adjustment at first to find time between studying and working.”

Perry’s 12 hours of school are wedged into a 40-hour work week. He is in class in the morning, and cleans from 3 to 11 p.m.

He cleans White Hall, Jennings Hall, Hyran E. Barefoot Student Union Building, Carl Grant Events Center and Luther Hall.

“White Hall definitely has the most trash,” he laughed.

Cleaning up after teachers and students all day gives Perry an inside look at the messes people tend to create.

He added, “I’ve found a few beer cans in random trash cans on campus; I also see a lot of vomit.”

Perry also mentioned that White Hall is notorious for spiders and that he once spotted a mouse in the Penick Academic Complex.

Skunks also roam campus at night, he said.

Big events Union hosts throughout the year create greater than average messes.

“I have to go in there with a suit on,” he said about post-event bathrooms.

Although being a housekeeper can be messy, Perry still enjoys his job.

“I get to come in to contact with everybody,” he said. “In the position that I am in I get to clean different buildings each day, so I’ve gotten to form a lot of relationships with students and teachers. I pretty much know everybody, and they all pretty much know me.”

“Greg is a super pleasant guy to be around,” said Scott Heit, director of creative services at Union. “He is mild-spoken with a huge heart. His love for others, and Union, is evident through his hard work. The housekeeping staff doesn’t get much attention, but their “behind-the-scenes” work is what keep this place looking great.”

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.