“For 10 years, Maria Silva has cleaned up after the students in Wheeler Hall … I wanted people to know how hard, lonely, and exhausting her work is. Even more importantly, I wanted students to know Maria as a person. I wanted them to know that she has a family, ambitions, and feelings…”
Campus custodian Maria Silva cleans several bathrooms each night. Often they are filthy, with clogged toilets and paper towels carelessly discarded over the floor.
Maria and the other custodians in Wheeler Hall start work at 5 p.m. and take their lunch break at 9 p.m. While she eats, students emerge from a late class; often they drift by her as if she were a ghost.
Maria and a co-worker clean the Wheeler Auditorium at least once a night, sometimes twice if there is a late-night event there.