St. Edward’s offices undergo changes amid pandemic, student workers learn to adjust


Juan Diaz

The Events and Campus Services employee tasks look different this semester. While there are not many events to prepare for, campus spaces can still be reserved.

When St. Edward’s campus opened for classes on Aug. 24, many things felt the same. Dining room services are open and dorms remain available for those living on campus for the semester. One thing that looks remarkably different are the jobs around school.

Work-study is something that is offered to students who financially qualify for it. Through the program, students can apply to different jobs on and off campus and receive pay up to $8.75 an hour, depending on what year the student worker is.

Student workers are only allowed to work up to 10 hours per week, culminating around 20 hours for each timesheet they fill out. These jobs are designed specifically for students, since they are able to schedule their hours based on when they have classes. It is especially helpful for students who don’t have the means to find an off-campus job.

For some campus jobs, such as the ones in Events and Conference Services that operate out of Ragsdale Center and Fleck Hall, the usually bustling scene looks quite different this semester. The student workers there take care of things like setting up tables for events and booking different spaces around campus.

Cindy Navarro, a junior video game development major, says that the center has not been doing any of these things as of late and that working a shift has been very quiet. Due to social distancing guidelines, only one student worker can work alongside their supervisor, as opposed to the usual two or more. 

“All the other times I’ve worked, it was so busy you barely had time to sit down because somebody needed something or soon enough you have to set up something else. Now, I kind of do miss having to run around campus and set stuff up because now you’re sitting in the office. It feels lonelier now,” she says.

Kel Brigance, the assistant director of events and conference services, spoke about some of the changes that have had to be made to the department.

“It’s no smaller than it was a year ago, except I didn’t hire anybody new, but everybody who was on my staff in March came back. It’s just they are all working less. Now, they’re getting about five to eight hours a week.”

One other office that looks different is the Study Abroad office. St. Edward’s is known and praised for its various study abroad programs that take students to places like France, Argentina, England and China. 

Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, not only were summer programs cancelled, but all fall programs have also been terminated, with some permanently closing. The Study Abroad office is still planning on going ahead with its spring and summer 2021 programs, as long as all guidelines are met. 

“Over the summer, I’ve had communication with our program providers. Those are the third parties that we contact with to run semester and summer programming. And so they have been in touch and have actually closed a few of their centers,” director of study abroad Emily Wescott says.

They have also had to make reductions in staff, but are hoping to bring in students who have previously studied abroad to help with student consultations sometime next month. 

“We did have a reduction in staff due to the planning for the 2021 fiscal year. We had two full time staff positions eliminated in May,” Wescott says.

In the meantime, the Study Abroad office is looking forward to expanding their usual day long Study Abroad Fair into a virtual, week long event. Spaces around campus are still available to be booked through Events and Campus Services, but they are all working at minimum capacity and with reduced hours, all of which can be found on their webpage.