Pandemic Puts Students Out of Work

Hunter Murray is currently a junior, double majoring in environmental studies and geographic and urban studies. While he’s originally from the town of Lewisburg, about three hours from Philadelphia, he’s currently living off-campus near Temple University. With the recent restrictions put on working and traveling in the city, Hunter faces a question similar to a lot of students, “how am I supposed to make a living?”

So currently I’m out of a job, um I’m out of both my jobs…I’m out of my job at home, which is why I’m still here. I’m here because, in Philly, just in case we get the go-ahead to go back to work in person” he said.

Before the quarantine, Hunter has worked two jobs every semester since freshman year. Those jobs have ranged from busboy to barista at a coffee shop near his hometown. However, the job Hunter is hoping to get back to is the one he got from the Temple work-study program. For the past semester, Hunter has worked as an Owl Ambassador on Temple’s Ambler Campus.

“It is something I do like. It’s a good way to make money, and it’s a good way to help people who want to come to Temple, come to Temple. It’s also nice to be able to work in an office environment while I’m still in school. My only complaint is that it’s an hour each way” he said.

Due to the spread of the virus, the City of Philadelphia has shut down all non-essential businesses. Unfortunately, a fair amount of work-study jobs were included in that shutdown. However, Hunter was recently informed that his position would be making the transition to online work and will allow him to work remotely from home. Hunter spoke about the impact that this month away from work had on his bank account and emotional state.

“It’s definitely put a dent in my life. I hate asking my family for money, and I never do but I had to pretty recently and it kind of hurt my ego a little. But luckily, I have a family member who has been able to help, and that’s really gonna save me from the month I haven’t been able to work.”

Hunter, like many others, is still figuring out how to cope with the situation we’re all in. However, he looked to the bright side, saying it’s given him a chance to reconnect with his roommates.

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