From the editor: Thank You, Student Employees

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by Amy Russell, The Learning Center –

It is easy to generalize college student behavior, and it’s a popular pastime during a pandemic, especially if you follow the Cortland County Department of Health on Facebook and see the daily stats changing. But what gets lost in that spiral is that many of our students are also members of the campus workforce, and their jobs are much less protected than unionized professionals.  

A friend, and campus colleague, shared an anecdote about a student employee who expressed concern about a pause if our campus reaches the 100-case threshold in a two-week monitoring period. The student relies on an in-person student assistant position to afford tuition.

The peer tutors I work with can take their work with them on a pause, but we have no control of their work environments on or off campus, outside of their laptop screens. We are asking more of them than ever in their academic support roles. The combination of glitchy technology and sharing their personal spaces on webcam with us and the students they meet with are more than enough to distract from the work of helping others learn, but they are sticking to it anyway.

Overall, alongside faculty and staff, our students seem to be producing extraordinary effort to keep the campus functioning in unusual and uncertain times.