Numerous Chico State students left unemployed following shelter-in-place order

After Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-30-22 ordering individuals to shelter-in-place starting March 19, many businesses in Butte County not categorized as critical adjusted to the new regulations, resulting in many businesses temporarily closing their doors.

This left many students working both on and off campus unemployed.

Students who work on-campus have been left with questions regarding the situation. 

“There has been many questions over the past 10 days about paychecks and job status,’’ Associated Students Human Resources said in an email.

AS indicated that it will provide paid administrative leave, “for all career full and part-time employees and student assistants, effective March 23 for employees unable to work for COVID-19 related reasons.” 

After on-campus employee Sofia Flores’ job closed, she was left in a “big shock.” 

“Sutter Dining left their employees clueless about everything and two days before students were scheduled to return to work, we were told that work was going to be closed until further notice,” Flores said. 

Student employees have been left uncertain about what to do to ensure they have enough financial assistance from their paid administrative leave for the rest of the semester.

“They told us not to come back and that we would only be paid until April 11th,” University Housing desk attendant Magali Garcia said. “We are all unsure how long this pandemic is going to be. It is necessary to take as many precautions as we can, but money wise it is strongly hurting many of my coworkers.” 

While many on-campus employees are either not working or working remotely, some essential facilities such as maintenance, security and building operations will remain open to provide limited services. 

Student employees had the opportunity to go back to campus to get essential work equipment and materials necessary to work remotely. 

“I am working from home so I have access to all essentials I usually need for work,” Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center desk assistant Jazlin Lopez said. “I am able to hear voicemails, respond to emails and work on training for next semester from the comfort of my house.” 

Students who work off-campus have also been left unemployed due to COVID-19.

Some unemployed students moved back to their parents home for the remainder of the semester to save money. 

“I have to move back home,” third-year business major Alec Deleon from Grover Beach said. “I still have to pay rent and there’s more opportunity for me to save money in Grover. I lost my job, but I’ll be closer to my family.”

During the emergence of the COVID-19 crisis, the Butte County Sheriff Department suspended eviction notices until May 31, but did not waive any obligations for tenants to pay rent. 

Students who have chosen to stay in Chico are struggling to find jobs amid the shelter-in-place order, but there are some resources for those in need of an income. 

During the swift downfall of the economy, the White House and the Senate approved a coronavirus relief bill on March 27. According to NPR, the $2 trillion relief bill is designed to give a one-time cash payment of $1,200 for individuals who filed as independent on their taxes and earned less than $75,000. 

Unemployed students also have the option to file for unemployment benefits. 

Students who are unemployed will gain an additional $600 a week from federal aid on top of their unemployment check.

“It’s tough to say how long this crisis will last,” Deleon said. “The relief package is not going to last indefinitely, but it will give me some financial stability.”

Marco Day and Keyla De Los Santos can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @Sinauna_SD and @keyladls