SUNY Oswego student employees hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic job cuts

SUNY Oswego student Daniella Rivoli working in Lake Effect Cafe. Photo: Daniella Rivoli

OSWEGO, N.Y.– Colleges and universities around the country have faced financial difficulties for years. Now, the coronavirus pandemic has heightened these challenges. 

“Without my job I just feel like there’s really no motivation in my day,” SUNY Oswego student Daniella Rivoli said after losing her part-time job on campus. 

Rivoli is one of approximately 470 students who were laid off this semester. The campus usually employs 750 students, leaving many students without the college jobs they rely on for much needed income. 

“My goal is to get back to the employment we had. I don’t know when that will be,” Auxiliary Services General Manager Stephen McAfee said. 

Following the state mandate, McAfee had to work diligently to change his policies as well as cut employees in order to comply with new regulations. 

“Because we had to follow social distancing guidelines, in some of the places we couldn’t have where we might’ve had three or four employees in one spot. We needed to only have two,” McAfee said. 

The campus is down nearly one thousand students on meal plans. That’s a third of the business Auxiliary Services is used to, losing roughly 130 students a week. 

“As a not for profit corporation we still have to return to our stake hold which is the campus community. And to be honest, supporting students in a lot of different ways,” McAfee said.  “We can’t do it without the students, so there will always be a place for students to work for us.” 

Average student employment is based off of nearly 4,000 on campus residents. This semester alone the total number of on campus residents was about 400 fewer than usual. Resulting in overall employment of 280 students, a significant decrease from previous semesters.