University Students Left With Questions – Without Jobs

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ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio University typically employs thousands of students every year. But due to COVID-19 and limited numbers on campus, many of the facilities that employ students are closed.

Hailey Long, a junior, has had multiple on-campus jobs since her freshmen year.  Last year, Long worked at WellWorks, the on-campus fitness facility for faculty, and at Jefferson Marketplace where she worked in the floral section. Both of these locations have remained closed due to coronavirus concerns.

A sign posted at Jefferson Marketplace. The business is expected to reopen for the spring semester.

Long was looking forward to continuing her job at Jefferson Marketplace this school year, especially as she had been promoted to floral coordinator last semester. This would be her third year working there. As well, Long was depending on this job to pay the bills for her off-campus housing this year.

It was a shock she said, to learn the university was closing almost everything down on campus this fall.

Long, like many other students, wasn’t given notice on the status of her job this semester from either the university or her direct employer at the market.

“For Jeff, she (Long’s manager) didn’t reach out to us,” Long said. “I had to reach out to her myself, which I thought was a little unprofessional.”

Upon finding out that the market would not be open for the first half of this school year, Long had no choice but to look for other employment – a difficult process.

“I applied to a lot of jobs here in Athens and I didn’t really hear back from anything,” she said. “I actually got lucky because my job from home was able to transfer me to here.”

Ohio University normally offers three types of student employment opportunities: Federal Work-Study, Program to Aid Career Exploration (PACE), and Student Hourly Employment. Any student can apply for hourly employment without a financial need or GPA requirement.

While student employment can be found campuswide, Culinary Services is the main provider of student jobs in dining halls, markets, cafes and even the university’s own food truck.  Jefferson Marketplace, one of the markets on campus, is the biggest on-campus student market offering a variety of services.

Any student can apply online for hourly employment without a financial need or GPA requirement.

Currently, the majority of Culinary Services facilities are closed for the fall semester due to COVID-19.  As spring semester approaches, the university will determine what facilities will remain closed and how many student jobs will open up.

For Long, all she knows is Jefferson Marketplace and many other university services are expected to reopen next semester.