• Sara Rimer

    Senior Contributing Editor

    Sara Rimer

    Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald, Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times, where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile

    She can be reached at srimer@bu.edu.

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There are 43 comments on Spraying, Wiping, and Cleaning, BU Custodial Workers Never Stop, Even in a Pandemic

  1. THANK YOU for this article on our heroes in custodial and facilities! I appreciate you shining a light on the crew that keeps us working and keeps us safe, day after day, especially during these times.

  2. Great story (and photos) about the custodial staff that is working so hard to keep us all safe. Thanks for all you do! You are appreciated!

  3. I am so grateful for the wonderful, dedicated team who takes care of us in the School of Law.

    While each and every person deserves to be personally thanked in this note, please forgive me for not remembering everyone on our team: Danny, Alex, Mike, Linda Skinner, Tim, Liz, and the WONDERFUL night crew (especially Jennifer Galvez, who knows our law students, and brings heart and dedication to her work each evening on the fifth floor).

    I see – daily – the dedication, heart, care, and professionalism of our facilities and custodial teams and just want to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

  4. Thank you to all of the wonderful facilities staff at BU! Thank you, Sara Rimer, for another great piece about the dedicated individuals at BU.

  5. Amazing story, Sara! The hard work that BU Facilities does never goes unnoticed! Our campus is impeccably maintained and beautiful because of them!

  6. A big Thank You to all the BU custodial staff, for the amazing job they are doing, especially at this time.

    And we should all give another big Thank You to the custodial staffs of all our hospitals and medical centers, working on the front lines of the battle with Covid-19.

  7. A huge thank you to BU’s custodial staff! I was so happy to see Ken and Riley featured here. They, their crew, and the plumbers take amazing care of 53 Bay State Rd. and I can’t thank or appreciate them enough for the work they do.

    I hope BU continues to make the safety and health of its essential, front-line staff a top priority.

  8. The Facilities staff does great work, 365 days per year, in any situation. Working from home, I miss the familiar faces of the people I used to see every day: Roger, Joe, Manny, George, Arthur and the rest of the gang in Questrom. Be well and safe, everyone.

  9. Many thanks to all the hard working folks that are still on campus! I popped in briefly to pick up a couple things I had forgotten in the office and spotted a couple members of the custodial staff going through and sanitizing all the doorhandles. Thanks for all your hard work keeping things clean and safe!

  10. Huge thank you to all BU custodial workers-and plumbers, carpenters, electricians& tradespeople, everyone at facilities —for all you do to keep the rest of us safe. And special thanks to John & the rest of the team who take such good care of 985 Comm Ave, even when we’re not there. Take good care, Sara

  11. In the days after we began to teach remotely, I was still in my office at CGS helping to coordinate these efforts. Each day when I was leaving for the night, I would salute the evening crew coming in. We would look at each other, smile and shake our heads. We were all in at least part of this together. So many thanks!

  12. I’ve always been impressed by the dedication, attention to detail, generosity, and friendliness of the BU Custodial workers. To see how they have risen to the occasion in this particularly challenging time is yet even more amazing. So glad this spotlight provides all of them with the credit that they absolutely deserve!

  13. Huge thank you to all who work “behind the scenes” at BU. We are truly grateful and appreciate all of you. A special thanks to the staff at Sargent who are kind and generous and always a pleasure to see.
    Thank you!!! Stay safe.

  14. THANK YOU to the incredibly hardworking, dedicated, friendly Facilities staff who work tirelessly 365 days a year! Happy to see you get the recognition you deserve. Your work is really appreciated every day and especially now during this tough time. A special thanks to the crew at 100 Bay State: Ken, Riley, Brian, Wayne, Lidia, Elsa, Vasco and the others I don’t know. You always make work a better place and take such great care of us. Miss seeing you! Love the picture. Thank you Sara Rimer for a good article.

  15. The Facilities teams around BU are among the most caring, dedicated, hard working, and capable group with whom I have ever had the privilege of working. Under usual circumstances they are the unsung heroes of the University, and now…THE ARE EVEN MORE ABOVE AND BEYOND. I hope that when we return to the normal state of things, we will remember the work of these folks through this crisis and always and celebrate them in person!

  16. Huge thanks!! My mother was a cleaning lady and I would help her on school breaks, so I have always appreciated how hard cleaning staff works. But this pandemic has brought many of us to a much higher level of awareness regarding the contribution that cleaning and custodial workers make to our public health. Our family appreciates all that you are doing to make facilities and employees safe on campus.

  17. Agreed wholeheartedly .. A thousand Thank Yous to all the BU custodial staff. Shout out to Ines who takes care of us on 3rd floor of 25 Buick St …
    obrigado Inês!

  18. Dedicated professionals is the backbone of the university. No alone genius can do everything. That’s why people work in teams. We are all in this together. Thank you!

  19. The faculty are incredibly thankful to all of the dedicated staff that keep our campus working, clean, and safe **all year long**. But we are especially grateful for their tireless efforts during difficult time. Thank you, all.

  20. BU custodians are the best. They care. The Facilities/Operations crew is also amazing and can always be counted on to come up with clever hacks to get the job done & done efficiently & well. My hat is off to all of them along with my deepest thanks and gratitude.

  21. Our friends in facilities are truly wonderful. We’re fortunate to have you and we’re grateful for you! Thank you for all that you do, especially now!

  22. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You all deserve so much recognition even under normal circumstances, but we are particularly grateful for all you’re doing in this midst of this stressful and uncertain time. You’re all doing an amazing job. Miss seeing you each day!

  23. These are the folks I see every day, Grace, Joe, Paul and Mario at work and Ken and Riley take care of my home on BSR. They and their co-workers are tireless, friendly and accomplished! My thanks to them, 1000%, for all they do, all year long!

  24. oh gosh, my comment is anticlimactic in the midst of this (deserved!) accolade, but eerily enough in our building (where my room is) at:
    there has been no cleaning for a week now! our shared toilets/showers (one on each floor) used to be cleaned, every couple of days (at random, it seemed, which is fine) but by now they are getting less and less nice and we are completely out of toilet paper. I was wondering what’s going on but this is by no means a complaint, thank you! thank you! thank you!
    and stay safe

      1. This was truly amazing! Yes, your Person (I did not go out to greet him, for social distancing) came in today–the very next day to my post!–and I can assure you that he cleaned for hours; all of the five floors were carefully and beautifully done. He’s the greatest, thank you so much.
        Sara: I was going to write this thank-you note today before seeing your reply: I am grateful, impressed, and amazed. Thank you for reading (and in first place for the article, one of the most thoroughly researched and humane among the ones about work at BU), and thanks to Facilities for their constant, professional caring.
        –The Shiny Building :-)

        1. Good morning, Grateful, Shiny Building!
          Your note makes my day-thank you. I knew facilities’ rapid response team would come through, as always, but so great to see it in writing. I can’t wait to share your note with Bill Walter & Tom Daley.
          Take care,

  25. Bill Walter and his team are simply amazing, day in and day out, and thank you for this article celebrating their work during the pandemic. They and their colleagues in Campus Planning and Operations are at the core of Boston University’s success. Thank you all, especially Svetlana, who keeps the 2nd floor at 881 Comm Ave. spotless and our plants growing and blooming.

  26. I too am so thankful for the work custodial staff does. But I wonder if we are giving them the supplies they need to stay safe and healthy. I don’t see many with masks, and they often work in close proximity to each other. As we’ve seen recently, these workers are most likely to get sick, and we should try to prevent that as much as possible.


    1. Shawn, thank you for letting us know about your important concerns. Vice President of Campus Planning and Operations Michael Donovan sent an email to all FM employees yesterday on the importance of safe work practices to ensure our employees are protected. He said, “As part of the University’s continuing commitment to ensuring your safety, I am writing to remind you of some important workplace safety protocols regarding COVID-19 and to inform you of one new safety protocol, which is intended to ensure a safe work environment.” The guidance in the email is the latest from the CDC and includes the need to practice social distancing, the use of gloves while working, the recommended use of face coverings and how to make them, and the new need to take your temperature each and every day before coming to work. Hand sanitizer and gloves have been well distributed throughout the campus and masks are available. If you need more supplies or have questions, please contact your supervisor or me.

      Thomas M. Daley
      Associate Vice President
      Boston University
      Facilities Management and Planning


        THANK YOU

  28. Thank you for article Sara, as part of BU Custodial development I would like to say Thank you for recognition of all the custodians hard work and dedication to the campus .

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