Security Guard Darnell, Alumni Terrace - Photo by Winter Leng ChE '18

Faces of Cooper: Darnell Hayze

By Brenda So (EE ’18)

The Cooper Pioneer: Where are you from?

Darnell Hayze: I am born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I have been here for 31 years. I love New York and I treat it as my city and my home.

How long have you been at Cooper?

I started working at Cooper two weeks ago. I like the
position I got here, working at the alumni terrace (8th floor of the NAB). When it’s open, I make sure everything is alright and people can come in and enjoy. The terrace also has a surprisingly nice view. I like it a lot.

When I got here, my boss assigned me to the alumni terrace, so I am trying it out, see how I like it first. People who know me will know that I am always
curious, so I always greet people, say hi, and talk to them. Being friendly is also what makes me qualified for the position.

Where did you work before you came to Cooper?

I have always been a security guard. Before I came here, I worked at major corporate events and nightclubs. I
actually worked at the Yankee Stadium this past summer. I worked at the clubhouse with the superstars, top-notch baseball players  such as Alex Rodriguez. My most memorable event was the New Year’s Event at the Empire Hotel Rooftop. A lot of people showed up, and the glitter ball went up; it was a beautiful night.

I actually have two jobs right now, Cooper and CVS. I work 12 hours here at Cooper, and I work at graveyard shifts in CVS. Graveyard shift means 11pm to 6am in the morning. It’s not that stressful in CVS; there are not a lot of people in comparison to the morning and afternoon shifts.

You mentioned that in your work, you meet a lot of people. Have you ever met people that are hard to deal with?

All the time. Especially in nightclubs, you got a lot of those people. Like when someone is drunk, the situation can get really messy.

People talk and they don’t really comprehend what they are saying, so I escort those people to their cars, give them some water and make sure they are safe. When people start a conflict in a nightclub, the cause is usually really petty. And I try to defuse the situation as quickly as possible.

One thing I learnt is to keep my composure. Back in the day, if someone starts fighting in the club, the bouncer would just throw them out. But now, you can’t do that.

Nowadays you try talking, try to defuse the situation. When I first started, I didn’t know how to handle things.  I couldn’t control certain situations, but now I have learnt how to deal with them. If you cannot control the situation, like when the person has a weapon, you need the police to get
involved.

What advice would you give to Cooper students?

I went to school myself. I understand what it means to work hard and what it means to go to school. When I went to school, I had
to balance a job and studying, and it was not easy. I got my Associate degree from Apex Technical School to study cars, to study engineering, and I was bouncing at nightclubs at the time, so it’s not easy. I am thinking of going back to school, too.

In terms of advice, if you know what you want, go get it. Don’t stop, do what you need to do and I hope you guys succeed in whatever you want to do. So work hard, and know that it’s
going to pay off!

What are your goals in life?

A goal that I am trying to achieve is to enter a body building competition. I work out a lot. And if I win the competition, I could get a contract as a
professional body builder. I would be earning $20,000 a week. So I work out, I eat right. A lot of people think that guards don’t have a life, but this is our own life. You’d be surprise what people do
behind closed doors—maybe someone is a small time actor, but you’d never know!

Darnell keeps the Alumni Terrace open everyday from 12-6pm. Come say hi! 

Leave a Reply