Student Workers at GS: Where Do They Now Stand?

Savannah King

When the campus shut down, many students questioned what would that would mean for their classes, where they would be living and even how they were going to now pay their bills.

As students began to readjust to this new reality, many student workers were left wondering where they stand now with their jobs and if they should start looking for another line of work.

The university has kept the student workers in mind during this time of transition. Students who could work remotely from home were able to continue work, but if that was not a possibility, they would find reassignment for those who needed the work hours.

Ben Phillips, who is the Coordinator of Leadership Development in the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement, was selected to work and take over this project from human resources. It is his job to match students with new temporary assignments.

There are still 77 students waiting to be reassigned as of April 12. Phillips states this is due to a disproportionate amount of students needing work, and departments needing additional assistance.

Phillips has said so far his team has, “helped 97 students find temporary student worker assignments for the rest of the semester, across both the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses.”

Kayla McCook, who worked at the on-campus Starbucks, was one of the lucky students who were able to be reassigned.

When campus closed and I wasn’t able to work anymore, I was so stressed out and upset. I was excited to hear the news of being reassigned, working at a whole new place on campus.

Kayla McCook

McCook was reassigned to the grounds departments where she helps with the upkeep of the campus, doing things like planting trees. She says it’s a lot different than what she is used to at Starbucks but is thankful for this new experience.

Shay Heard is among the student workers who are able to work from home during this time. Heard works as a student assistant in the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement and was surprised to hear that she was able to keep her job.

Heard said, “I’m still getting the same amount of hours, thankfully. We are now doing everything online, of course, from checking emails to doing project requests for people in the office.”

Rebecca Cortner, a work-study student who works in the office of testing services as a proctor for online exams, said the worst part during this time was trying to figure out if she was going to be paid the same amount of money she was awarded or if she needed to find a job in the midst of places already laying off workers.”

Cortner explained the university had set aside a certain amount of money for the semester that she will continue to receive weekly. She is still able to keep her job even though the campus is closed. Cortner was given the option to proctor exams, which she assumes will take place via webcam.

A GS student employee who works at Lakeside dining commons, who wishes to remain anonymous, is one of the student workers who are still without work. In fact, the student did not even know there was a reassignment process for student workers until the interview.

I received no emails from any of my managers or even Eagle Dining Services about student workers staying home or any other type of information about reassigning us to a new department if possible. No one reached out or gave us any type of instruction on handling the situation. Even now, I have yet to receive any emails from my department.

A GS student employee who works at Lakeside dining commons

Phillips stated that students needing temporary work were supposed to have been sent forms from them that ask students to identify their home department, normal working hours, and some of the interests and skills that they have. The departments as well can share this information and form.

“It is hard to say exactly what might have happened with this particular student. One of our largest groups of students that have applied for temporary assignments has been students from the Dining Commons. It seems like it was an unfortunate oversight for this particular student,” said Phillips

Phillips also said if any students have any questions about anything or would like to communicate with him that he is open anytime, and would love to hear from them and do his best to advocate for them.

Though a lot of uncertainty is going around, the university is trying its best in helping students continue work has helped ease their stress.

“I’m thankful that I work for such a great university that amidst all of the chaos can find us a place to work, ” McCook said.

If you’re a student worker still in need of work and reassignment you can reach out to Ben Phillips @[email protected] for help.

Savannah King works for the on-campus Starbucks on the Statesboro Campus