It’s Housekeeper Appreciation Week at Ithaca College, and the residents of Terrace 2 are grateful for the services of Angela Copeland, the facilities attendant for Terrace 1 and 2.
Copeland is from Long Island, N.Y., and is a mother of two and a grandmother of one with two more on the way. She began working at Ithaca College in May, and said she has enjoyed her daily interactions with the students in her buildings.
“They always make a point to say hello or they make a point to stop and talk, and that is a very good feeling when you walk out of the door at the end of the day,” Copeland said.
There is a consensus among Terrace 2 residents that Copeland lends a positive energy to the building. When asked to describe her in one word, 10 residents in Terrace 2 replied with words like outgoing, fabulous, cheerful, funny, friendly, kind, positive and hospitable.
“You could just talk to her all day long because she’s really, really nice,” freshman Ashley Nicola said.
“She has a very nice, kind of warm energy…[she’s] a very hard worker from what I’ve seen,” freshman Michael Evans said.
Copeland not only keeps Terrace 2 tidy, but she also assists residents when they need help with everyday cleaning needs and tips.
“She’s always around, so I feel like she’s dependable, if there was an instance where I needed her help,” sophomore Avery Becker said.
Junior Elizabeth Taylor said that the last time they talked, she told Copeland about the wrinkles in her blazers. Copeland gave her some useful tips for doing laundry, and Taylor said they’ve worked.
For Copeland, students responding to her greetings and flashing her a smile is enough to brighten her day. The residents of Terrace 2 said they feel lucky to have someone in their living community who goes out of her way to return the kindness.
While students are encouraged to recognize the workers in their buildings this week, the college is also taking part. Copeland said every day this week the college is giving all housekeepers one-hour lunch breaks instead of 30 minutes, where they are being treated to bagels, donuts, coffee, pizza and chicken wings. Everyone will also receive a small gift at the end of the week.
Copeland said she is also thankful the college provides reliable health benefits. After suffering a massive heart attack at 39 years old, Copeland’s husband can no longer work. He currently receives Supplemental Security Income benefits from Social Security, but may someday need to be put on her healthcare plan, Copeland said.
“The health benefits are very good here … as of right now he’s still covered under SSI’s medical, but if there was to come a time, it would be very convenient for me to put him on my medical.”
Copeland said when she first began working at the college, she received extensive help to understand how her husband would be covered. An individual assessment of his medications was one service the college provided, she said.
“Once my husband got sick I got to look at life in a whole different aspect,” Copeland said. “You learn to appreciate things in a different manner.”
The residents of Terrace 2 had mixed reactions when asked about their thoughts on appreciation week. Evans said he’s glad the college endorses the week.
“I don’t think we really realize what the space we are in would look like if [Copeland] wasn’t actually actively doing what she does,” Evans said.
However, junior Lindsey Adelstein thinks designating a specific week is not enough.
“Hopefully people realize [there] shouldn’t just be appreciation week, we always should be appreciative of what they do for us.”