The abrupt campus closure last month has meant the suspension of many on-campus student jobs.
Ashley Agustin, junior psychology major, worked at Barbara’s Place, the eatery in the student center. Now she is unemployed.
“I actually found out through my co-workers who contacted Human Resources, who said we were all laid off,” Augustin said adding that she heard she was out of work through the grapevine before she was told by her employer.
Augustin said that she depended on the food service job to make ends meet.
The COVD-19 pandemic, which caused the campus to close March 13, sent all students, faculty and staff to work remotely from home for the remainder of the academic year. In addition to sending all classes online, the closure also caused the elimination of many jobs that cannot be done remotely.
Although Barbara’s, with some other on-campus jobs, is operated by outside vendors, students in the federal work study program have income and employment protection, University spokesman Rod Leveque explained.
Students deemed eligible for federal work study when they apply for financial aid are guaranteed income by the federal government for the on-campus jobs, as part of their financial aid packages.
“At the moment, no (work study) student has lost their job as a result of the novel coronavirus,” Leveque said.
He added that for those whose jobs can’t be done at home, the University is trying to find them alternate work.
“I cannot wait to go back to work,” said sophomore business major Valentina Galioto, information and service desk employee at the Campus Center.
Another student, Natalia Garcia, who guides campus tours for prospective students, also cannot work from home.
Garcia said during this shelter-in-place period, her manager has been very understanding and works with them as much as possible.
“Everyone seems to be in a state of paranoia, which is why I think it is very important for every manager to (update) their employees,” said Garcia, a junior history major.
The Human Resources office has been encouraging managers to do just that, Leveque said.
“It is a critical time for everyone, and their main goal is to try and keep all the work study students reassured,” Leveque said.
Valerie Valadez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.