Occupied by the daily stresses of juggling classes, homework, on- and off-campus jobs, and extracurricular and social lives, we often forget about those people who work continuously in order to make our lives so much better. In the everyday hustle and bustle of campus life, these faces stay well-hidden, but their contributions can neither be forgotten nor ignored. They work early mornings and late nights without complaining about the cold. Dispersed all around campus, these people are the Hidden Heroes of the University of Rochester.
Cherise Richarseson, a favorite of the residents of Hoeing Hall, is one such individual.
Initially, she was posted in Strong Memorial Hospital. However, in 2003, she switched over to River Campus and began working at Hoeing Hall.
Over these 12 years, she has been working diligently in order to make sure the students are in clean, sanitary surroundings. Every morning, she comes in to work at 5 am, well before the crack of dawn. She ensures that the halls and bathrooms are clean and that all the trash is taken out.
Imagine not having her help, and waking up to an overflowing trash can and hair in the drain. It’s certainly not a pretty sight.
When asked what her favorite part of the job is, she emphasized that it is the students.
To her, the best thing about the college environment is the chance to get to know so many students from so many different parts of the world. The diversity is indeed something that she says amazes her every year. She not only gets a chance to see the day to day life of a college student but also interact with these students and make them a part of her day. She gets exposed to various new languages and cultures, some of which she had never even heard of before.
It is these interactions with students everyday that make her job fun and leave no scope for a dull moment.
When asked about any one memory or incident that touched her heart over the years, Richarseson does not skip a beat sharing the emotional attachment that the students and the workers have for each other here.
She distinctly remembers a particular incident that happened three years ago, when a student marched and picketed with her and her fellow workers to show his support for their protest in renegotiating their contract with their Union. The student’s involvement in their protest, surpassing barriers like cold as if they were a worker too is clearly something that left her overwhelmed. This gesture made her feel wanted and loved.
Her attachment to the students is something that has grown over the years, and this perk is clearly something that she never wants to let go of.
Her one message to all students would be to just be themselves. Richarseson is of the strong opinion that “nobody can love you like you.” She is a patron of independence and self reliance, advising the students not only to be themselves but also independent and self- motivated.
Her journey in this campus has indeed been overwhelming, and she does not regret a single day working here. We can never thank her enough for her contribution or any of the other thousands of workers all around campus who we witness everyday.
Poddar is a member of
the class of 2018.