My colleagues and I have planned on doing an interview with one of the campus security guards for some time now but have never really gotten to it because all of us would always be occupied with a lot of things to do. However, one evening changed that. I was at a corridor talking to a friend of mine about the oral defenses going on at the time in our department. We were both quite nervous then. Suddenly, out of the blue, one random guard approached us.
He looked rather disappointed whilst carrying two bibles which he seemed to have gotten from one of the classrooms he just checked. As he got closer, we both stared at him; we thought he was going to confiscate our IDs for some reason we could not really think of (irrational fears really work up on us at this point in college life).
However, his kindly voice made all the difference. He didn’t sound like he was reprimanding us at all; instead, he asked if my friend and I were willing to listen to what he had to say. Let me tell you this: it’s rare moments like this that surprise you in a beautiful way. A random person approaching us out of the blue and asking if we had the time to listen to what he had to say – and a non-reprimanding security guard at that! At first we didn’t really know how to react but we nodded awkwardly anyway. He began by saying, “Kahibaw ba mo? Disappointing kaayo.” (Did you know? It’s really disappointing). He went on saying how disappointing it was to find the properties of students such as bibles carelessly left behind. The guard obviously saw this as an issue on what USC students value more, since most are usually more concerned with finding their lost wallets, cell phones and other electronic devices rather than getting their bibles back when they lose them–which incidentally, according to him, are piling up in their stockrooms (I saw it first-hand, he wasn’t joking). He talked further, saying that students should give more importance to the little things that are usually taken for granted.
He started opening up about his life as a security guard, conveniently describing what it was actually like. He said it is difficult on their part, “Makapahuot sa kasing-kasing usahay kay naay mga estudyante na sakit kaayo’g mga ipangsulti sa amo ’nya wa sila kahibaw unsa among side.” (Sometimes it hurts because there are harsh things that students tell us when they don’t even know our side). He assured us that no matter how much students complain; they’re only doing what they’re tasked to do, and that is to protect the lives and properties of students.He then proceeded to tell us about student relationships. According to the guard, there had once been a girl left in one of the classrooms; and when one of the maintenance men found her, she was bleeding heavilly. Mister guard was in charge of that area back then and he was shocked as he saw that scene because he did not expect for that kind of incident to happen within school premises. After further investigation, the campus security office found out that the incident had happened because of an issue concerning the girl’s relationship. The guard then encouraged us to continue with our studies first before getting serious with relationships. He shared to us many more stories about the things that happened in school of which no one ever really bothered to know or even expect to happen. He told us that the Security Office keeps a record of everything, from minor to major incidents.
I asked him about some policies in school and what the Security Office thinks about them. He politely declined to speak in behalf of the entire campus security force, but stated instead that, as an individual he sympathizes with the students on some issues on school policies. Like us students, there are some policies that even some of the guards do not readily align themselves with. “Di ko musulti unsa pero naa.” (I won’t say which one but there are), he said. He added that on top of everything else, the security and the administration are only thinking of the students’ welfare. “As the security guards of this university our plight is always to protect the properties and lives of the students.”
Most employees like security guards are often taken for granted and seldom appreciated, especially in school where it seems easy for most of us to just dismiss them as “minor” members of the educational body. We may complain about them most of the time, but when we really get to know them and acknowledge the importance of their presence in the community we collectively belong to, we just might begin to be able to establish a bond that will enable us all to really work together and bring this institution to the heights it has always longed for.
Our subject requested for his name and station to not be mentioned in this article not because of fear of his superiors but rather to show the students that he is among the many other nameless people who do honest and diligent work and stand for what they believe is correct. We also understand that this article can still be provided with more in-depth information and recognition, and as such we encourage that you send us your comments and suggestions regarding this editorial to [email protected].