COVID-19 Impacts Students, Student Workers On Campus

By Linsey Madison

Brockport Beat Twitter Manager

Jobs have become few and far between when it comes to employment due to Covid-19. The College at Brockport had many student employees on campus in several areas like The Square, the dining halls, or with Garnishes. Brockport Auxiliary Service Corporation is in charge of all of the dining services on campus, but many things have changed since the pandemic hit the globe.

            Students have been removed from campus besides those with exceptions. The dining halls have moved to an online system and are take-out only. Essential employees work in quarters with no interaction with others or they work from home. Many student employees have had their employment terminated until next semester.

            Mia Callahan, an employee for BASC, was unsure of what would happen on her last day of work.

            “I went to my last shift, and I asked my boss what would happen. My boss didn’t know what exactly would happen. I left, and two weeks later I got an email saying due to the circumstances unfortunately these unforeseen times have resulted in a reduction of BASC. Your position at BASC will be terminated,” said Callahan.

            Callahan is still unemployed and worries about how she will pay for essential things like groceries, gas and bills.

            “I will get another job but it may not be until the summer when this crisis concludes,” said Callahan.

A once busy Harrison Dining Hall. Photo from BASC.

            Given the circumstances with BASC having to lay-off employees, many were told that they were eligible to return in the fall. Those who were eligible are able to receive retraining, re-employment services and training from the department of labor.

            Another student who has found herself unemployed in this pandemic is Ambrose Wagner. Wagner mentions that she has had a loss of income, but a positive is she is spending more time with family. Wagner has been trying to file for unemployment to help her out. She hopes that the new stimulus bill that was passed will help her out as well.

As a financial safety net, the government has issued aid packages to taxpayers. Many individuals will be receiving stimulus checks.

Stimulus checks were issued to people because of the government’s new coronavirus aid package. Individuals who make less than $75,000 will receive $1,200. Couples that earn less than $150,000 will receive $2,400. Head of households who make less than $112,500 will receive $1,200. Parents with children under the age of 17 would receive $500 per child. If a person registered as a dependent, they would receive nothing.

The amount will vary depending on the 2019 tax return for each person and 2018 if the 2019 taxes haven’t been filed. Those that are on Social Security are eligible to receive a check as long as they received an SSA 1099 form for 2019. These checks will be sent out by mail or direct deposit by the IRS.

Eliza Zachowicz is currently an unemployed student and won’t be receiving a check.

“I was still a student and going home during breaks, I was listed as dependent despite just getting an apartment. We figured one more year I would be claimed as a dependent on my parents. If we had known this pandemic would be striking I don’t think I would be listed as a dependent,” said Zachowicz.

Zachowicz has her apartment and lives with her boyfriend. She worked in retail until the virus shut non-essential businesses down.

Since Zachowicz isn’t working and is attending school, she has tried to file unemployment to keep money going into her account. Unfortunately, Zachowicz hasn’t been successful and has spent a minimum of 12-15 hours combined between the computer and her phone on The Department of Labor’s website.

“It has been a journey. I filed in mid-March and it said my report was incomplete and that I would need to call,” said Zachowicz.

A graph of changes in employment because of covid-19. Photo from Brookings.

The Department of Labor has switched from having its employees call people instead because so many people were calling the department, put on hold and couldn’t get through.

“They called me Apr. 11 and we got everything settled, my file was complete and that I could start claiming benefits every week. That was almost three weeks ago and I still can’t claim benefits and my claim is listed as incomplete. From what I’ve seen this is not just me, this is a lot of people who were told their claim was complete and it’s not,” said Zachowicz.

Many people are feeling the economic impact because of temporary closures or from being furloughed. Everyone is feeling the impact from the virus, especially students.

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