Students, Staff Remember ASUC Building Supervisor

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Remembered by students, staff and local business people as an incredibly hard-working man, the lead building maintenance supervisor for the ASUC Auxiliary, Juan Malano, died Feb. 28 after battling a long sickness.

Co-workers, friends and acquaintances described Malano as a generous person who always had a smile on his face.

"Juan would often stop by my office to inquire how I was doing," said ASUC Auxiliary Director Nadesan Permaul, in an e-mail. "He would ask, 'Good morning Mr. Nad. How are you?' Those cheerful encounters meant a great deal to me, especially to begin the day."

Malano began working at the ASUC Auxiliary as a custodian in 2007 and eventually worked his way into a position to oversee the maintenance of ASUC facilities.

Jeff Deutsch, director of the Cal Student Store, said he got to know Malano through the work he did fixing the lights and doors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union.

"Juan made significant improvements on how the union looks and feels," Deutsch said. "There are things that would not be in the student union if Juan was not here."

To honor Malano, Deutsch asked the ASUC Senate to take a moment of silence during its March 2 meeting to no motions of objection.

"We just took the moment of silence then and there," said ASUC Executive Vice President Nanxi Liu. "We are all really appreciative of his help in setting up tables, getting storage."

At the senate's March 9 meeting, ASUC President Noah Stern asked the senators to contribute money to Malano's family, part of which will also go toward buying flowers. The senators and ASUC Recording Secretary Steve Litwak also signed a card for Malano's family.

"Juan often went on retreats with ASUC leadership to get to know the students better," Stern said. "He was a very valuable member of the ASUC family."

Stern recalled moving a giant stuffed bear to the Cal Lodge on Donner Summit with Malano.

"Juan was laughing the whole time, making fun of students for being so scared of what to do with a stuffed bear," Stern said. "He was able to enjoy every situation, even odd ones."

Auxilary staff remember Malano for his personality, strong work ethic and commitment to bettering the student union.

"He often received ovations for his work, his ethic, his effort and written thank you notes from members of the staff," Permaul said.

According to Haitham Alloun - owner of the Coffee Spot in the Bear's Lair Food Court - Malano, who he remembers as a "down to earth" and hard-working person, had been on a leave of absence since the end of 2010, but did come and visit his workplace in a wheelchair with his wife.

Malano's funeral service will be held this Saturday, March 12, in Clayton, Calif. He is survived by his wife, Rita Palacios and their children.


Contact Amruta Trivedi at [email protected]

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