When the University closed campus, students lost routines, in-person classes and, for some, their paychecks.
Students who previously worked on campus in research or work-study jobs are now without work opportunities or working remotely as a result of the university closure.
Music performance sophomore Sydney Cooke received a work-study job through the President's Student Aid Scholarship. This scholarship provides recipients with on-campus job opportunities where they receive an income that comes from the scholarship itself.
Cooke has worked on campus through the scholarship since she started at the University.
“It’s my only job, so it’s my only source of income,” Cooke said. “It’s not terrible because right now, it’s not like I really have to buy groceries or anything for myself, but I prefer to have a job.”
Cooke was employed in the Music and Dramatic Arts Building this semester, where she ushered concerts and monitored the building throughout the week.
Cooke is taking advantage of remote employment options, but her job responsibilities have changed significantly.
“All of my job was in-person, I would go, and I would work the concerts,” Cooke said. “Now we’re doing training materials and working in groups and trying to come up with new ideas for the job.”
Cooke typically worked about 10 hours a week on campus, but is working fewer hours now.
“I wish that they had the President’s Student Aid set up where they just gave you the scholarship money and then you worked it off,” Cooke said.
Like Cooke, political science freshman Stephen Privat had a work-study through the President’s Aid Scholarship. Privat worked in the Campus Life main office in the Union and the LSU Food Pantry this semester. Before the University closed, Privat worked six hours a week. Now, he works zero.
“It’s not as big of an impact than if I would have lost an actual job, but it’s just less money that I have in my pocket,” Privat said.
Privat worked an on-campus job during both semesters in his freshman year. He used the paychecks as emergency funds while going to school and living on campus.
“I think [LSU] did what was in the best interest of the students,” Privat said. “They did as best they could, and I mean, they haven’t done anything horrendous or completely wrong.”
Chemical engineering freshman Caity Dufore also held an on-campus job through the President’s Aid scholarship. Dufore worked at the Women’s Center where she maintained the Period Project stations and was a desk assistant.
Dufore said her boss also emailed her about options to work remotely and is providing weekly updates on the situation. Dufore said some options to continue getting paid include attending online workshops or Zoom meetings.
“Since we’re on quarantine, I don’t go out and spend money or anything,” Dufore said. "So, it’s really not affecting me that much.”
Dufore was disappointed to lose the scholarship opportunity. She said working remotely in her position is not realistic, and she had not yet earned all the money she was promised from the President’s Student Aid scholarship.
“I was pretty disappointed because that’s money that we were promised,” Dufore said.