This edition of the Exchange features Walter “Chipp” Beasley, coordinator of facilities management, housing and residential programs.
Q: What are your duties as the coordinator of facilities management for housing and residential programs on campus?
A: I liaison with the facilities and housekeeping departments and some contractors as it relates to the residence halls. Also, I supervise a crew of students and we make some minor repairs in the halls.
Q: Do you have a favorite residence hall?
A: No I don’t have a favorite, especially because each building has a unique personality to me.
Q: Burrowes Hall has been around awhile. What would you say to students who are hesitant about residing in Burrowes?
A: Burrowes’ showers were renovated two summers ago, so that makes them much more appealing—and the furniture is less than five years old.
Q: How many years have you been at Millersville University?
A: I’ve been working here for 31.5 years and a graduate assistant for three years before that.
Q: Have you always held the same position?
A: No. I was a residence hall director for the first 20 years.
Q: How did you arrive at Millersville?
A: I went to undergrad at York College, and of course I learned about Millersville University while at YCP. Millersville’s school psychology program was well spoken of at YCP.
Q: Are you from this area?
A: No. I am originally from Washington, D.C.
Q: What was the biggest crisis situation that you had to tackle in your position?
A: The biggest crisis has been setting up approximately 150 tripled rooms (adding a bed and desk to a two-person room to accommodate a temporary third student) two weeks before the beginning of the fall semester and then having to remove approximately 75 of those sets of tripled furniture in four days. Ironically, I’ve been on vacation during many of the traditional crises, i.e., hurricane Sandy, fire in Hobbs.
Q: How often do you ensure proper maintenance in all of the residence halls on campus (i.e., fire alarms, washer/dryers, drainage issues, etc.)?
A: Approximately every two weeks I send a list of work orders for the respective buildings to the graduate assistants and then follow up with facilities as needed. I also routinely tour the buildings and inspect areas of concern.
Q: What’s the best way to start out the day?
A: During the summer I have students working for me all day/every day and we start with a planning session/current events review and a stretch session.
Q: Do you work normal hours, or is your job essentially “on call?”
A: I work regular hours, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Q: What is the strangest story and/or complication that you’ve had during maintenance rounds?
A: One of my student workers hit a sprinkler head with a mattress causing a massive flood of Burrowes’ Hall basement.
Q: Complete this sentence. I wouldn’t be able to survive without _______.
A: Music and working out.
Q: What are you most excited about in terms of the $180-million housing project?
A: Being able to meet student needs with new facilities that reflect the latest technology!
Q: Do you think this will alleviate any of your job duties at all?
A: No, things will still break and need fixing, and ‘they don’t make ’um like they used to!’
Q: How often are you able to collaborate with the rest of the housing and residential program staff?
A: As a liaison with the facilities/housekeeping departments, I have to pass information on between the housing department and facilities on a regular basis, every single day.
Q: What’s it like having an office in Hull Hall, so close to all of the residents?
A: It’s refreshing; their energy keeps me tuned in with the freshman class, since Hull is a freshman hall.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: Casablanca. I’m a big Bogie fan, but I have a lot of movies I can watch over and over. The Magnificent Seven is my favorite western. But I have favorites in every genre.
Q: If you’re not at work, what can we find you doing?
A: Golfing, yard work, listening to music, watching a movie or reading a good book, playing with my cat or friend’s pets.
Q: Do you collect anything or have any interesting hobbies?
A: Besides the answers to the question above, I also love to travel and photography, and I love studying animal behavior. I’m a big jazz and blues fan so I’m always listening.
Q: Tell us about your family.
A: I have a sister who is a veterinarian who works for the Department of Agriculture.
Q: What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you in 2012?
A: I went to Goblin Valley, Utah, which is the most amazing place in the natural environment I’ve ever been. It’s like being on another planet; the rock and clay formations are phenomenal. And, the equally amazing thing was that a lot of children were playing on the rock formations – no phones, no gaming, just good ‘ole fun!!
Q: If you weren’t in your current position, what career would you like to have?
A: A photographer or a sound engineer.