Student Jonas Matzen and his supervisor Kyle Kopacek.

Do you really know what happens behind the scenes at MSUM? MSUM alumnus and Grounds crew supervisor Kyle Kopacek (fitness/sport science) and psychology student Jonas Matzen are two of many workers on the Grounds crew who keep MSUM’s campus looking beautiful.

There are 35 acres of parking lots and 11 miles of sidewalk to cover and maintain. The more hands, the better. The Grounds Crew welcomes students from all over the world with various levels of experience.

“My best advice to student workers is to be on time and be self-motivated,” Kopacek said. Matzen could not agree more. “This is an independent work style. I have learned to be self-motivated, work on a team together and to communicate more effectively,” Matzen said.

With the hot summers and cold winters like we have here in the Midwest, the Grounds crew has a long and varied list of things they complete throughout the year.

“In the summer, we take care of the grass, trim the hedges, plant the flowers, paint the parking lines, help departments if needed, and much more,” Matzen said. “In the winter, we primarily remove snow and go over it with sand and salt. We also set things up and take things down for sporting events in Nemzek.”

Due to Visa rules, international students are only allowed to work on campus. Matzen is an international student from Germany, and he says it’s very convenient working on campus.

Another benefit of working with the Grounds crew is that they hire both work-study and non-work-study students.

“Before I started here, I never knew what Grounds did. Now that I have worked here and do what I do, I appreciate this work a lot more,” Matzen said.

Kopacek not only attended MSUM but also worked as a student worker on the Grounds crew during his time on campus.

There are four groundskeepers and around five students in the summer.