Lost Jobs Campaign
After being removed from campus spring of 2020 due to the pandemic, the majority of student workers found themselves without a job or income. The college made up for some of that lost income, which for most student workers was to be used to pay off work-study. Despite this, there were still discrepancies in the college’s aid. Moving forward to the fall semester, most students were not given the opportunity to return to campus. There was no transparent effort by the college to replace the hundreds of campus jobs students would have normally worked with remote opportunities. The Lost Jobs campaign began as an effort to pressure administration to meet our demands, listed below, and give students a voice in the process of mitigating the financial effects of the pandemic.
- Create remote work positions for student workers who need jobs. Students could be hired both in remote versions of previously existing jobs and in new positions. This work includes developing resources and supporting peers in our difficult circumstances, projects that help the wider Grinnell community, and academic work that could give additional help to professors. Students rely on college employment for essential living expenses, academic benefits, and work experience.
- Expand grants to cover all students’ need-based work-study awards as long as the COVID-19 pandemic affects Grinnell’s operations. This fall, Grinnell College converted only half of work-study awards into grants, and the other half into optional loans. For the vast majority of student workers, these loans are not optional. Grinnell College is mistaken if it believes offering debt lessens the financial strain caused by student unemployment. As long as students’ work-study is paused by the pandemic, the College needs to convert 100% of need-based work-study awards into grants.
- Create transparent, formal structures to make decisions about campus employment that include student worker input. Students understand the jobs they work. Student workers provide essential insight into how existing employment can transform in response to COVID-19. We provide essential labor, for departments including but not limited to academics, IT, and Residence Life. We are the essential stakeholders in campus employment decisions. For these reasons, we demand Grinnell College form some central structure which includes student representatives to make and publicize final decisions about student employment for the current academic year.
The lost jobs team meets every week to plan actions and events, if you are interested in joining the team email [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you would like to be kept up to date on our actions and events, follow UGSDW on instagram or facebook, and become a member here and check your email for updates!