Laurie Tostenson

Laurie Tostenson

Quality Assurance Coordinator

You’re in a new position, right?
Yes. I run a program called Smart Inspect and score buildings on cleanliness levels to ensure quality standards. 

Is morale an issue on your team?
Custodians are self-motivated. They know students can get really sick if they don’t do their jobs well. 

How has this work changed?
Years ago janitors mopped with dirty water. Now there’s a lot of training in the use of chemicals, which are smarter. Bugs are smarter, and it’s harder to kill germs.

What’s the annual budget for keeping Dartmouth clean?
Including labor costs, it’s about $12 million.

You inspect Dartmouth’s 126 buildings annually. What interesting things have you seen?
A beautiful stained-glass window in a bathroom in Bartlett. I love Rollins. It’s serene. 

What’s the first thing you notice when you do an inspection?
I ask myself, “Does it look welcoming, organized, and clean? Is the door clean—its glass, frame, and hardware? Is the floor clean? Is the lighting adequate?”

What are the hardest parts of custodians’ jobs?
Cluttered offices. When our custodians can’t get in, there can be a complaint, and that hurts them. They want to do a good job. 

Are older buildings harder to clean? 
Older buildings are not as well-lit and appear darker, which may make them look less clean. To make them look as good as they do takes love and attention. 

What’s your pet peeve?
It’s disheartening when students have left trash outside after a dorm party. Custodians are expected to pick that up. It’s extra work. 

Got any cleaning tips?
Declutter. Too many material things get in the way of getting important things done.

Who does housework in your home? 
My husband does the dishes. I do the laundry and cleaning.

 

Portfolio

Alumni Books
New titles from Dartmouth writers (November/December 2019)
General Education
Civilian Rachel Milstein Sondheimer ’01 directs West Point’s rigorous classroom strategy.
100 Years of the Dartmouth Outing Club

For a century the D.O.C. has demonstrated how the great outdoors can be a defining element of a liberal arts education.

Reyn Guyer
Reynolds “Reyn” Guyer ’57
An inventor on the power of creativity

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