By Taylor Milon, Staff Writer
Darryl Wea is a professional full-time staff member at the Millennium Student Center. His title is Operations Supervisor, but his job is behind-the-scenes-superhero. Wea has been working at the University Missouri-St. Louis for over 30 years. In 2003, Wea received the Riverstar Employee of the Month in recognition of his outstanding customer service. In the years since, he has only grown to exceed his previous years of work.
Wea oversees logistical operations, custodial management, and financial matters. That really means that he supervises the custodial staff throughout the entire MSC and the conference portion of the J.C. Penney Building. In addition to maintaining the building, all of the men and women who change lights, climb ladders, and crawl under water fountains in blue button-up polos and white name badges, report to Wea.
All things pertaining to the appearance of the building are a main part of Wea’s day-to-day responsibilities. On top of that, he oversees financial matters including invoices and campus-wide vending services, and he communicates with Coca-Cola for student organizations. Wea takes pride in his contribution to the everyday functions of the MSC, working alongside his fellow coworkers to help the facility operate smoothly and serve as a welcoming and clean environment.
Wea said that his main duties have been constant through his time working for UMSL but that he has “overcome many hurdles and learned so much.” One stumbling block Wea faced was dealing with all the office finances, but he grew in his job. He said, “If I would have been asked before if I could do what I do now, I would have said no.”
Wea recently received more leverage in his position to make executive decisions. He now has a direct line to deal with business proceedings. Wea went on to say, “Working for Miriam Roccia [the Assistant Dean of Students] has been different; she really challenges you to achieve your full potential.”
Over the years working for UMSL, Wea has amassed multiple amusing stories. One he shared happened about two years ago. Staff and students came rushing into his office to inform him that there was a bird flying around in the MSC during classes. He took action right away. He called animal control and with the help of the Financial Aid Office, captured the bird. Wea explained that after the incident, he understood the importance of how his position coexists with his coworkers and other departments in the building, and that collectively, they all get the job done. Wea’s profession requires him to stay alert and on top of his game. He even walks through the building to make sure that everything is up to par, so that when people are in the MSC they see UMSL’s grandeur. Wea’s office is located on the second floor rotunda in MSC 218. Feel free to stop in; Wea loves to hear good things from the students, who are, after all, who it is all for.