University Housing statement April 15
About 100 student employees who work in the halls as either residence assistants or inclusive community assistants also chose to remain on campus – a number that now far exceeds the university’s needs.
The university has made a commitment to pay students for as long as possible and has communicated this – and you can see the related FAQs shared with students at https://safety.colostate.edu/covid-19-human-resources-faqs/ (scrolled to the bottom of the page for information specific to student employees).
Per the university’s commitment to our student workers, University Housing revised job duties for these two positions so all 100 of these students could retain their university employee status, either working remotely or in person. The choice of which job (in-person or virtual) has been left up to the student employees. The university compensates residence assistants and inclusive community assistants through room and board.
There are only about 300 student who are continuing to live on campus, and all students are consolidating to just two residence halls to better ensure hall security and for efficiency. Because of this, the previous job duties of residence assistants and inclusive community assistants positions have been replaced with the revised job duties to provide an opportunity for all of these 100 students to remain employed.
University Housing has offered to all 100 of the student employees who remain in a University Housing job the choice between an in-person role or another role that limits interactions with other students to online and virtual duties. As a result of concerns that were shared by students, we made changes to one of the job descriptions so that it no longer requires any face-to-face interactions such as walking through the halls to check on students who live there. One of these two positions focuses on providing virtual support for students who continue to live in housing. Work for that position is virtual rather than face-to-face.
The other position focuses on work such as walking the halls to check on students, submitting work orders for building repairs, and working at the front desks of the two halls. Much like essential workers in grocery stores, restaurants or other businesses that remain open, these students who would opt for this choice are provided with a cloth face mask (bandana, homemade mask, or non-medical grade mask), which public health guidance states is appropriate for this type of work, along with consistent handwashing and social distancing. These students have been provided bandanas and rubber bands with instructions on how to make a masks out of those supplies, and have also been given guidance on hand washing and social distancing.
Students or employees in any role at the university who refuse to be available for remote or virtual work offered to them will not be compensated by the university. All employees who are being paid are expected to be available to work remotely as those opportunities are made available.
Students who choose one of these roles will continue to be compensated with room and board – and the vast majority of those 100 students have chosen to remain a university employee through one of these options. If students choose not to continue to work for the university in one of those capacities, then the university will continue to allow them to stay on campus in a residence hall, but they will be charged room and board, just as all other students who live in the residence halls are being charged. The university is not turning any students away who need housing on campus and we are not evicting students who do not choose to continue working for the university, and had never stated that we would do so.
In addition, the university has worked closely with public health experts to implement protocols and provide protective measures for our employees, such as providing bandanas that can be used as masks, guidance from the Surgeon General on how to do so, and reminders on how to follow best practices for community health. None of the students who choose to continue to work in an in-person capacity would be asked to respond to a situation where a risk of exposure to COVID-19 was known (such as responding to the room of a student who is ill).
All university employees who are working in person on a university campus are expected to follow social distancing and hygienic protocols during the course of business.