Hands behind the U: A family who works together…

By By Ana Breton

By Ana Breton

It’s noon. The peak of high traffic at lunchtime and lines of hungry students start to form in the Union Food Court.

Nicole Flynn, who has been a cashier there for a little more than a year, wipes her hair from her face and checks food prices, swiping cards — both credit and UCards — for customer after customer with a machine-like accuracy.

In the building next door is Flynn’s mother, Brenda Flynn, who works as the executive secretary at the University Counseling Center in the Student Services Building. As secretary, a position she has held for more than 10 years, Brenda Flynn helps tutor students and assists with several college success classes the center offers.

“We help students succeed — that’s basically what we’re here for,” Brenda Flynn said.

Brenda is married to Ernie Flynn, who works across campus as a door specialist, or “doorman,” for the U Carpenter and Roofing Shop, a position he has held for 14 years. At the shop, Ernie Flynn works with “everything and anything related to doors,” he said, “except locks; security takes care of locks.”

Several buildings down, Ernie Flynn’s brother-in-law Jay Deuel works in the Marriott Library as the U Online Program Coordinator. There, he monitors online courses and works with instructors to facilitate online classes.

Although there is no recorded number, together Deuel and the Flynns make up one of the few families who work on the U campus.

Deuel is the main reason they are here.

The Flynns, who are Utah natives, moved to California when Nicole was 2-years old, and Deuel stayed in Utah.

Deuel started attending the U as an undergraduate student more than 15 years ago and “never left,” he said, landing jobs around campus when he graduated until he got his current position.

More than 10 years ago, Deuel encouraged Ernie Flynn to leave his carpenter job in California and apply at the U.

The family moved back to Salt Lake Citytogetherand now works at the U campus.

“I guess I infected them and introduced them to the campus,” Deuel said.

But Nicole is not the only Flynn sibling to be on a campus payroll. She replaced her brother Ryan as a food court cashier when he left on a church mission.

Nicole Flynn’s other brother BJay graduated from the U, and her oldest brother Jason is attending here.

She said her family members who work on campus usually have lunch together once or twice a week, and that they are usually angered when she tries to pay for their food.

Still, they appreciate being a campus-stroll away from each other while at work.

“We love the environment of the U; every single person in my family is just connected to it” Ernie Flynn said. “It’s a lifestyle more than a job.”

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Maegan Burr

Ernie Flynn installs a door at the university surplus building. Flynn is one of two carpenters in charge of the 2800 doors at the U.