We Are SI
Security Guard Tells All
Who is Sylvia Lacayo? Too often the dedicated SI security guards go unnoticed as students fail to recognize the undercover forces working to keep our beloved St. Ignatius safe. I can guarantee that Sylvia, Head Supervisor of Security at SI, has shot you a smile or wave sometime between 6:30am and 3:30pm as she directs campus traffic, patrols the premises, or provides her fellow security guards with safety tips. We’ve all noticed the increased number of locked doors and yellow-jacketed people patrolling our campus in the last year, but Syl-via ensured me that the main reason for the additional security is “mostly for the Jesuits that live here.” Whew. So SI isn’t at lockdown risk 24/7? “Not at all. The main goal is to keep random San Franciscans from accidentally entering campus grounds and to chase the occasional raccoon off school grounds at night.” However, that’s not even close to being the weirdest occurrence on campus after school hours. According to Ms. Lacayo, “The strangest problem I deal with is people constantly dumping furniture off in front of school grounds. Just the other day before 6am, I had to call to get a couch removed from outside the pool entrance at the foot of those stairs.” In regards to the little “hidden” alley parallel to the pool building, it’s not so secret after all, folks. Neither are your other hiding places because when asked what she witnessed most as security guard at SI, Syl-via said, “Couples...” (insert an uncomfortable pause and all-knowing look here). Even if you think the security guards aren’t watching, the cameras are. After an hour-long interview with Ms. Lacayo, I found her to be one of the most authentic, insightful, and honest people on campus. She fearlessly shared her whole life story with me, including life lessons far beyond the clichés I expected from a hardworking mother of two. She’s been working as a security guard for eight years after previously working as a certified nursing assistant and taking several fire science classes. After asking about her motives for taking this demanding 10-hour day, five day a week job, she exclaimed, “I wanted to be a detective when I was young so I guess that’s part of it (laughing at herself), but I really love working with kids. You guys are great here.” I won’t reveal all her youthful adventures and battles with adversity, but I was particularly shocked to hear that a spider bite from the Brown Recluse almost ended her life in 2004. Sylvia was paralyzed for two months, in the hospitable for three, and had to teach herself how to walk again. Although doctors told her that recovery time would take up to twelve years, in 2013, I see a strong, vivacious woman undaunted by the challenges that life has thrown her way. I’m serious, next time you’re walking around campus, find Sylvia Lacayo and have a chat with her. Next time you’re walking within campus, find Sylvia Lacayo for some good stories and advice. And if you’re somehow stuck outside of SI’s locked campus, call Sylvia and her staff at (415) 624-4285. Additionally, if you’ve lost something, see a stray dog on campus, witness a “stranger danger” moment, or have a car locked in the school garage, reach out to her! That’s our very own security hotline, available 24/7 and extremely efficient. I can personally attest to that, as the average response time is two minutes flat. Now that’s what I call first-rate service!
Security guard Sylvia Lacayo surveys the campus.
Choose groups to clone to: