While many of us sleep, Occidental’s night shift workers go without a blink to make sure our buildings are secure and students can satisfy their late-night pizza cravings. Campus Safety officers quietly conduct rounds while securing the entryways to our buildings. Library staff keep the brainstem of our campus running for late-night study sessions and the occasional all-nighter. Culinary services satisfy our midnight munchies and prepare for the next day of hungry stomachs. RAs stand by to respond to lock out calls and student concerns. Occidental’s campus would be unrecognizable without the bedrock of the night shift opening the blinds in the morning. Intrigued by the stories of Occidental night shift workers, The Weekly took a tour of some of the duties entrusted to the important figures that keep our campus prepared for tomorrow.
10 p.m. Campus Safety
We rode along with Wendy Carillo, a corporal and private administrator, as she conducted her nightly rounds to ensure buildings were locked and students were able to access classrooms. She also responds to medical aid calls that can range from over intoxication to asthma flare-ups.
“We get a variety of calls at night, not just from students but from community members also,” Carillo said. “Sometimes they’ll see something sketchy, so we go check it out.”
These calls can have high stakes.
“We had people that don’t belong on campus with crowbars looking for things to take. And a lot of times you have to be quick to respond and back your partner up,” Carillo said.
Aside from the unexpected, locking down buildings follows a precise pattern to ensure that officers do not miss anything. Lock-downs start at around 5 or 6 p.m. and continue throughout the night, aside from particular buildings that are left open for late-night studiers, like the library.
10:30 p.m.: The Tiger Cooler
Night supervisor Joy Duguil detailed the responsibilities that he and his staff complete each night in order to make sure service runs smoothly the following day. Duguil has been a supervisor for five years, but has worked at Occidental for about 30 years. He is familiar with the Tiger routine: making sure certain foods are prepared, restocked and students are served. The result is a continual cycle of night shift staff helping day workers, and vice versa.
“The most important thing is that when they come in the morning they still have to set up their line [and] also all the prepping, they won’t have enough time to be open for service. So, we do it at night or the morning, but through the course of the day also … so when we come at 3:30 a.m. we don’t have to rush all of it,” Duguil said.
He noted that he no longer minds working his eight-and-a-half hour night shifts.
“I like it because there’s no traffic when you go to work,” Duguil said. “When you go home, the freeway is quiet. I’m used to it.”
Duguil and his staff play an important role in keeping students satisfied and fed.
“I think the food service is very important. We’re feeding a lot of students that are willing to eat here. I think we’re a big part of the role for Occidental students, to function,” Duguil said.
11:30 p.m.: Graduate Hall Coordinator
Andrew Castro keeps residence hall buildings together — literally. He is in charge of responding to work orders, and is also the Graduate Hall Coordinator (GHC) for Pauley hall, meaning he is the go-to guy for Resident Advisors (RAs), and also coordinates programming budgets.
“As the GHC on duty, I also respond to any sort of maintenance emergency that may occur in the halls where I would need to contact Campus Safety who then contacts Facilities. I’m also available to answer any questions a resident may ask an RA if the RA isn’t entirely certain of the answer,” Castro said.
Maintaining dialogue between students and Residential Education and Housing Services (REHS) staff is also one of Castro’s responsibilities.
“With there being so many students living on campus, our department has a lot of contact with students around the clock so it’s important for us all to continue to do our best to serve the students in any way we can,” Castro said.
12 a.m.: RA On-Duty
Senior Peter Laminette’s three years of experience as an RA have led to many overnight on-call shifts. He attends to anything from lockouts and repairing damage in hallways to roommate conflicts, and has had a wide range of experiences throughout his time.
“It’s like in Interstellar with Murphy’s Law — it’s kind of like whatever can happen will happen,” Laminette said. “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong at the most inconvenient time for you.”
Consistently on call, Laminette feels he holds an important part in building a community and tending to situations if crises arise.
“I think the best part is constantly meeting people. That’s one of the more rewarding parts. Also, making friends with the other RAs, because they’re all motivated and talented and they’re really caring and we all support each other,” Laminette said.
As a player on the men’s soccer team as well, Laminette carries a hectic schedule. Yet, he appreciates assisting other students through their time at Occidental.
“You meet a lot of people you wouldn’t normally meet … and then watching them grow and helping them out is rewarding,” Laminette said.
12:30 am: Library Circulation Desk
Gabrielle Seiwert (junior) works as a student assistant until 3 a.m. Sundays. She is responsible for checking rentals and books in and out and compiling bookings —which are library rentals — for the next day.
“It’s nice to have services available late at night … especially during midterms week and finals week. You want to have the ability to check stuff out and check stuff back in,” Seiwert said. “Mostly just having the library be a place you can study at late hours.”
Seiwert said she is naturally a night owl and actually enjoys seeing familiar faces. She also appreciates having the ability to do school work if there is down time. It has also allowed for some oddly amusing experiences.
“Last year, we had this kid that would vape in the basement, and students would come to report it,” Seiwart said.
Of course, these are only some of the stories of campus by dark, and so many others go into making Occidental what it is during the daytime. So, the next time you are Coffee Cart bound, and it feels as though you are the only one awake, remember there is an entire staff helping you get your Cup Noodles. The night shift workers have your back.