College students around the country are now facing many uncertainties during the coronavirus pandemic, one of which is the future of their on-campus jobs. While many universities, including Boise State, have made the shift to virtual learning and limited on-campus housing, where does that leave student employees?
Boise State has closed down many parts of its campus, with few buildings remaining open to the public. The push to work on digital platforms for anyone involved within Boise State is a key focus, but not everyone is able to work remotely.
Tuan Nguyen, a junior business and economic analytics major, is a store cashier at the Interactive Learning Center and is one of the many Boise State student employees that has been affected.
“Because of the impact of the COVID-19 virus, I am currently unemployed and I cannot work outside the campus due to my visa restrictions,” Nguyen wrote in an email. “I have not heard anything from my department or my supervisor.”
While many services on campus have shut down, there are certain student employees who have options regarding their jobs. Madison Park, a junior graphic design major, works for Boise State Photo Services and is able to work for the time being, but the amount of work to be done has decreased heavily.
“I can technically still work but my hours have been cut,” Park wrote in an email. “During work, I would usually take pictures of sports and events, but since those are all canceled, I don’t have much to do. My department has been making a list of organizational stuff and other things we can do during work, but I will probably only go to work one time a week with limited things to do.”
Many students rely on their jobs to stay afloat, but with students losing their jobs, uncertainty with finances also looms.
“Right now, I have enough savings to get me through a few months, but I’m looking for a second job,” Park wrote. “Having to use my savings now will create more problems for me in the future. I know things are hard for all companies and businesses right now, but I wish Boise State would offer paid leave for students and faculty struggling right now.”
Carli Thornburg, a junior communication major, is a lifeguard and swim instructor for the Boise State Recreation Center and is currently out of a job due to the indefinite closure of the Rec.
“Now that I am out of a job until further notice, things are a little stressful because I am a junior and I don’t live on campus. So I have rent to pay and bills, and I need to be able to get groceries, all that fun adult stuff,” Thornburg wrote in an email. “Not having that income is a little concerning, and because I live in a house, I can’t just drop my lease and move back home with my parents to save money.”
When it comes to the future of students’ jobs once this has all passed, each department differs in how they will proceed. For some, their jobs are secure. Park said her job will remain intact and hours would go back to normal, but other students are uncertain about the outcome of their positions.
While this time is riddled with uncertainty, there are preventive measures students can take to make sure they are staying healthy.
“I would suggest people stay home and keep social distancing,” Nguyen wrote in an email. “Use online shopping and delivery, if possible. Wash your hands daily and keep your body clean and healthy. People should prepare the emergency fund and ask for help if needed.”