Student employees can continue to work from home or receive financial compensation through the new remote work and pandemic leave policies, written in response to the coronavirus as Elon University’s classes will remain online through the end of the spring semester.
According to Nancy Carpenter, the assistant director of career services for student employment and internships, the pandemic leave and remote work policies allow students to continue to work remotely through the end of the semester or receive paid leave through May 1. The policies were originally in effect until April 19 but was extended when online classes were pushed through to the end of the semester.
During a typical school year, over 800 students are employed in on-campus jobs and students generally work between 10 and 20 hours a week, according to Elon University Undergraduate Admissions.
According to Carpenter, students in positions where remote work is possible — such as those with “administrative functions,”— are working from home. Students occupying positions that require on-site work are compensated. Carpenter said these students are paid at the rate they were making before their schedules were disrupted.
It’s up to individual supervisors to decide whether or not remote work is possible, Carpenter said.
If remote work is possible, “the university expectation is that that work be completed, just as it would be if the student were able to come to work,” Carpenter said in an email. “If work is available for the student and they choose not to do it, they may not submit these hours under the pandemic leave plan.”
Being away from campus has been “kind of weird,” according to sophomore Jack Corby, who is being paid to work remotely both as a resident assistant and as an employee in the Historic Neighborhood office.
As a resident assistant of Smith Hall, Corby has continued working by communicating with other residence life staff and his hall, he said. With the Historic Neighborhood office, Corby said he has “been able to do some remote excel sheets and help the office staff.”
Corby initially applied for the position as a resident assistant in order to “help grow people,” he said, and added that the job would allow him to graduate with less student loans.
“The money was the main reason I took the Smith job, as I was hesitant at first from the reputation Smith has,” Corby said. “But … I could not imagine passing on being an RA in Smith, as I have grown so much as a person with my patience, personal skills, communication, and teamwork.”
Corby said he has enjoyed continuing communication as he has worked remotely.
“Our staff is a big family and it is nice to check in with everyone every week,” Corby said. Corby said he misses “the comradery” that comes with his residents and Smith hall.
Students were working at the Moseley Center front desk until Monday, March 30, when North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order went into effect. For Barb Carlton, the assistant director of Moseley Center, preparing student employees for the transition to online work was “much like what your professors had to do to get ready for online learning.”
Carlton said student employees at Moseley Center are taking advantage of their time at home by completing remote work they normally wouldn’t have time for. This work includes “policies re-written, website cleaned up, social media enhanced, etc,” Carlton said in an email. Carlton said the Moseley hiring team is reading applications for next year’s employees, and student managers are working on training their 2020-2021 successors.
“We came together as a professional staff … and started brainstorming what we could have staff do remotely,” Carlton said. “It’s amazing all the things we wanted to get done are now being implemented.”
But, Carlton said her personality has made the transition to online supervising more difficult, adding that planning meetings online has been more difficult than planning in-person meetings.
“As an extrovert and a person who went into Higher Ed to work directly with college students, this has been taxing,” Carlton said.
Carlton said the professional staff is doing what they can to ensure student employees at the Moseley Center can continue to work remotely.
“In times like this we are doing our best to take care of our student workers,” she said.