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facilities staff
UTSA facilities staff members play "Pin the Tail on Rowdy" to raise
funds for the State Employee Charitable Campaign. At the back are
Thomas Murph (safety), Steve Walker (plumber) and Fred Wiedner
(grounds supervisor). With Rowdy's tail and blindfolded is Jennifer
Ortiz (surplus) with a smiling Carlita Contreras-Melendez (facilities
planning).

UTSA facilities staff sets pace in SECC giving

By Lynn Gosnell
Special Projects Writer

(Oct. 29, 2008)--They paint the walls, repair the pipes and mop the floors. They plant shrubs and flowers for shade and beauty. They plan new buildings and maintain existing ones. They work all shifts to keep UTSA’s three campuses cooled or heated properly.

They work hard to take care of the buildings and grounds. But over the last few weeks, these staff members have taken time out of their days (and nights) to raise funds for the annual State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC). The result?

Besides coming up with a perfect 100-percent giving rate, several sub-units in the department also raised additional funds for the SECC general donation pool. One example of this extra effort comes from the 1604 Campus housekeeping night shift.

These 40 or so housekeeping staff members have worked steadily all year to raise an extra $500 for SECC.

"They sold candies and sodas and such throughout the year," said Carlita Contreras-Melendez, an administrative associate in the Office of Facilities Planning and Development and a campaign leader. "They've turned in their donation and soon they will begin their fundraising for next year's campaign."

Joe Rubio, director of Downtown Campus facilities, has a record of leading successful annual campaigns. Over the last three years, his Downtown Campus department has achieved a 100-percent giving rate. This year, the facilities offices at the Downtown Campus, Institute of Texan Cultures and 1604 Campus all contributed at the 100-percent level. Rubio also acted as an ambassador to other smaller departments around the campus by inviting them to participate in taco and pastry sales.

When asked about his record of motivating employees to participate in the SECC, Rubio typically deflects attention from himself and toward his staff.

"First, we put together a great team to help raise awareness about the SECC and the organizations that benefit from the annual campaign," he said. "Then we planned some events and tried to keep it fun."

Contreras-Melendez and Rubio arranged to "adopt" other small departments on the West Campus and the Downtown Campus. "When we held our taco sale breakfast, we invited other small departments around West Campus to join us. We put them under our umbrella," Rubio said.

"It's a team effort," Rubio emphasized.

"There's a quote I like to share with people during the campaign," Contreras-Melendez said. "It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving."

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The State Employee Charitable Campaign runs through Oct. 31, so it's not too late to donate. As of Oct. 29, UTSA has 56 percent employee participation in SECC.

Please make your donation online, or turn in your donation form to your Area Delegate or send it to the Office of the President.

For assistance, contact your Area Delegate or the UTSA Office of External Affairs at (210) 458-5102.

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