New jobs created for student workers displaced by COVID-19

Katelynn Singelton, Campus Carrier staff writer

COVID-19 has put a temporary hold on many on-campus jobs. Students have been reassigned to places like The Spires, Physical Plant and the dining hall. If students are unable to be reassigned, they can request to be placed in the temporary pool, where they can be called to fill in shifts at various job sites on campus. 

In addition to extending hours, supervisors are now using the temporary pool. The temporary pool is a group of students who are looking for jobs and are given priority for individual shifts that might come up. Gate Scholars are considered a top priority, as they require a certain amount of hours a semester. Freshmen or new students that are not working are considered a second priority. 

Due to many students going into quarantine, supervisors have had to find staff available to cover shifts. Mike Burnes, director of LifeWorks operations, says that when a supervisor loses multiple students due to quarantine, they tend to request an extension of their current workers’ hours instead of hiring new students or using the temporary pool. Freshmen tend not to have their hours extended, while upperclassmen are allowed to have their hours extended from 12 up to 16. Gate Scholars are permitted to have their hours extended from 16 to 24. 

“We have about 32 students that are in the temporary pool, and then we prioritize them based on need,” says Burnes. 

Several of the affected jobs have been connected to Berry sports. Students would work in the stadium on game days in previous years, but because games have been canceled, those jobs have been lost. Burnes says that jobs during games included selling tickets, admission into the stadium and working the concessions. 

Another area that has been affected is the guest cottages on Cottage Circle. Students typically would assist in maintaining the cottages, including checking in guests and cleaning the rooms. However, the cottages are currently used to house students quarantining on campus, meaning that students are no longer allowed to clean rooms. 

Rich Morrison, a junior political science and psychology double major, has been reassigned from the cottages to the front gate, checking people’s temperatures. Morrison says that the hours he would work have changed slightly, but overall has been able to adjust quickly. The students he worked with at the cottages have moved to welcome gate, as well as allowing them to still feel like a team. 

“We take pride in what we’re able to do,” says Morrison. 

Students can look for available jobs by going to studentwork., selecting “find a job” under the employees tab and clicking on temporary jobs. These jobs are available to students as long as they have not met their maximum hours of work. For more information about the temporary work hours, contact the LifeWorks Office. 

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