He can easily be seen walking through the Springfield College campus with a strut in his step and a smile on his face, and for good reason. For Springfield native Reginald St. Julien, the reason is simple: he loves his job.
St. Julien, better known by students as Reggie, is a Union Station Supervisor inside the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union and not only does he love his job, but, “I love the students, too.”
And many of the students at SC love him, too.
Upon joining Springfield College’s Aramark dining services in 2003, Reggie worked as a cook, mainly making pizzas and doing grill work in the old student union, the Beveridge Center.
However, in only two years, Reggie was promoted to supervisor, the position he still holds today. With his people skills in-depth knowledge of each station, Reggie stays on top of his workers and makes sure important tasks are getting done.
Yet whenever he has a free moment, you can find Reggie conversing, cracking jokes, giving advice or just saying hi to any student on campus. This again is due to the fact that everybody loves Reggie. Nonetheless, this adoration and respect towards Reggie was not something that just fell into his lap; it is something he earned throughout his years at SC.
“To gain these kids’ respect, I mean the kids love the fact that I’m real with them, “Reggie said. “The way I look at it is that you can’t talk to the students like they’re little kids. These kids deserve better than that.”
In fact, that is SC senior Greg Coleman and junior Logan Aikins’ favorite attribute about Reggie.
“I love how real he is with each student,” said Coleman. “Just because he works here, he doesn’t act like he’s better than us. He talks to us like he would anyone else.”
Aikins agreed and added, “He’s just extremely friendly and great to have around. We talk about anything from football to life in general.”
In addition to him being real with the students, it is fact that Reggie truthfully cares about the students. This has helped him gain respect throughout the campus. When he approaches somebody and asks them how they are doing or how their day is going, there is no trace of disingenuousness there, only sincerity.
Over the years, Reggie states that he has become tremendously close to a few students in particular. In more than one case, out of concern for the way a student seemed to be acting or troubles that were occurring for the student at school, Reggie asked if he could meet his or her parents during their next visit to Springfield.
“Surprisingly, some students actually found me on campus and introduced me to their parents,” said Reggie. “The parents come up to me and go, ‘Hey, I’ve heard a lot about you, my kid talks about you all the time and they speak highly of you’.”
“And all I can say is thank you because I treat them the way I want to be treated,” he added.
However, this pleasant and earnest exterior Reggie gives off is not to be confused for him being a pushover.
“I won’t take a smart-mouth though,” Reggie firmly added.
This tough-guy facade, like his concern for the students, is also no joke. In fact, in Reggie’s other line of work this outlook is necessary.
Prior to and while working at SC, Reggie has been a bouncer on and off for 20 years.
During his experience as a bouncer, Reggie worked many Thursday nights in downtown Springfield, a common ground for college students. From this, Reggie feels that he truly learned how to deal with college students, “no matter what state of mind they are in.”
Although charismatic and beloved by all, Reggie does have one major flaw that he knows students on campus have a tough time getting over.
“They hate the fact that I’m a Steelers fan,” he said.
His fascination with the Steelers is so deep that when asked whether he could win the lottery or have the Steelers win the Super Bowl this year, Reggie’s response was, “I want that seventh ring.”
So the next time you find yourself in the Campus Union while in the presence of Reggie, it wouldn’t hurt to swing by and say hello.
Who knows, you could be the next one to find out why everyone loves Reggie.
Dave Seronick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org