The security office located in the library is not typically a popular spot with students during the day time, but during the night time is a different story. Students visit the security office when they want to have a break from studying to have a good laugh, a pop, or just to let off steam. The number of students always vary but one thing is for certain is the hospitality and stories from the always smiling Morningside College security guard, Jerry Meisner.
The stories that Meisner tells to students have a purpose, no matter what kind of story it is. His stories create bonds with the students to give him the opportunity to get to know him personally and earning their trust. “I like having the trust of a lot of the students that they know they can come to me if they need something.” Said Meisner, “I really enjoy the interaction with our students.”
Meisner’s stories and jokes are always wild and told in such a detail, that some people don’t always believe him. “They tell me they don’t believe my stories. And I have to tell you, all the stories that I tell are true” said Meisner about the disbelief on his stories.
Believing or not believing Meisner’s stories is up to the listener, but the laughter from the students is guaranteed with each story and joke. “He just cracks me up,” commented Courtney Klocke, a sophomore graphic design and advertising major, “He just comes around with the weirdest jokes and it’s hard not to laugh just because he has such a good sense of humor and he always uses his puns, so it just cracks you up.”
Throughout his career, Meisner has gained experience about self defense and protection with the added bonus of living through numerous good and bad situations. All of his life experiences have become the source material that he uses as stories and jokes to tell students.
Meisner hasn’t been working security or telling stories at Morningside for long. Previously coming from Western Iowa Tech where he spent 13 years as their security guard. Even before working security at the local colleges, Meisner served as protection for civilians at a variety of places like Unity Point Hospital and for the Woodbury County sheriffs department.
“Ever since, I think middle school, I was interested in law enforcement and I volunteered for a number of years as an explorer and then also as a deputy sheriff,” stated Meisner “But once I was hired full time, I didn’t like it [police work]. It wasn’t what I thought it would be.” Meisner would then start his security guard career at Gateway as their security supervisor.
While Meisner’s job is to ensure the safety of the Morningside students, his goal is to connect with the students and the stories are a step to get there. “That’s my goal, is to be there for people. To be one of those people that hey if you have something wrong or need a friend to talk to, Jerry is available. That’s who I want to be.”
Students have felt the connection with the security guard through his stories and his overall joyful attitude. “He makes my day every single time I see him.” Stated Nathan Hoogland, a senior mass communications major, “It doesn’t matter where or when, he just manages to do it.”