With UMass' recent shift to "high risk" and the self-sequester mandate, we understand that many students with jobs are dealing with substantial loss of income as a result.
- Off-campus employers have canceled shifts for student employees and told them not to come to work. Additionally, UMass is now forcing students to choose between income they depend on, and risking a code of conduct violation.
On-campus employment has been disrupted by the closure of multiple on-campus places of employment. This has been inadequately addressed by the university.
UPDATE: As of 2/11, UMass will be compensating students with on-campus jobs for lost wages during the self-sequester period. Thank you for sending emails in support of this!
In response, the SGA invites students to join our campaign telling UMass administrators that this situation is unacceptable.
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Dear Chancellor Subbaswamy, Vice Chancellor Hephner LaBanc, and Vice Chancellor Kennedy,
As students are amidst the second week of being prohibited from working, I am reaching out in regards to students employed off-campus who have been heavily impacted by the University’s decision to move to a “high risk” operational posture. This insensitive decision by the University pushes students into extreme financial uncertainty in the midst of a global pandemic. Further, the resources offered by the University in recent communications are insufficient and take valuable time to receive, time which students relying on work income to pay for groceries, rent, and other essentials do not have.
Students have been contacted by their employers, who have cancelled shifts and told their student employees not to come to work. Further, if employers allow students to work, they are forced to choose between earning income they depend on and complying with University directives, at the risk of being sanctioned under the Interim Pandemic Policy. This is a decision no student should have to make, and disproportionately impacts low-income, first-generation, and BIPOC students.
I ask that you support UMass students and fully compensate students who work at off-campus employers for lost wages accrued during the two week “high risk” operational posture. Not doing so will further financially destabilize students and lead to food and housing insecurity among your students. In the event of another shift to “high risk” posture or self-sequestration at any point during the semester, the University must allow off-campus employees to work and properly communicate this exemption to the appropriate town governments and community partners.
(Your Personal Testimony [optional])
Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to the University’s action on this critical issue facing UMass students.