American students respond to effects the Coronavirus has on their jobs and financial security

Students describe their situation as unavoidable and difficult to find jobs elsewhere.

Sydney Fischer
4 min readApr 15, 2020

Covid-19 has caused University of Nevada, Reno students who rely on work on-and-off campus to face dire financial situations that could make paying rent hard and create a domino effect for dwelling owners around the University.

As students face financial challenges, their landlords see a future where money is tight and if students can’t pay their rent, then they don’t have the money to pay things associated with upkeep of facilities rented by students.

“A significant drop in April rent payments would create a domino effect and leave many landlords without enough money to pay their water and sewer bills for their properties,” Joseph Strasburg, president of Rent Stabilization Association states.

Joseph adds that results may worsen in May and follow into the summer.

Student Responses to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Georgina Ramos in front of the Fleischmann Planetarium at UNR, 8 Nov. 2019.
Georgina Ramos in front of the Fleischmann Planetarium at UNR on 8 Nov., 2019.

“My hours are currently being cut which creates a financial struggle, and I will be spending more time at home than previously,” said Georgina Ramos, a 20-year-old student from Las Vegas who worked at the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.

Georgina states she understands the library being essential business since students need access to Wi-Fi and computers. The only other facilities open on campus include the Joe Crowley Student Union, the Pennington Student Achievement Center, and the Eatery at Overlook.

College students don’t qualify for any check from the government, college-related refunds, rent forgiveness from housing off-campus, and lose campus jobs, explains Dani Miyerah, a student at Bowling Green State University.

William Grove in Reno 15, Jan. 2020.
William Grove in Reno 15 Jan., 2020.

“The University had to make certain decisions that would displace people. Some people are not able to have internet access for the home, so I believe the library is a good area to provide access for their courses,” William Grove, a 19-year-old student from Las Vegas and Supervisor at Capriotti’s near campus states.

William explains his boss will be keeping his position for returning to work. “I’m not working currently, because I want to be with family during this pandemic. I am on unemployment pay, although it is a lower salary than before.”

He believes off-campus institutions are handling the pandemic better than on-campus jobs are, as students nation-wide are losing university jobs.

“Both on and off-campus jobs are suffering as a result of this pandemic, so it’s hard to say which is more beneficial,” Deirdre Johnson, an 18-year-old from Las Vegas working as a Data Analyst at the Joe Crowley Student Union explains.

Deirdre Johnson in Las Vegas 29 May, 2020.

“After the pandemic, I was given the option to work remotely with my usual hours.” Deirdre states other students don’t get to keep jobs and is grateful her job continued work.

When asked about the libraries being open on campus, she responds saying, “I understand that some individuals do not have internet or computers, so I think it is necessary. However, I do think it is dangerous for some of the workers in regards to their safety and risk of infection.” She states safety needs are being compromised when workers interact with others.

Institution and Government responses to the Coronavirus Outbreak

A statement put out by the University of Nevada, Reno on 18, March 2020 provides information on the closing of buildings students work in, allowing only one restaurant on campus to remain open.

“All non-essential employees and operations at the University will cease.. for at least 30 days,” Marc A. Johnson, president of UNR told all students on-campus workers. UNR explains individuals must work together to prevent the spread of the virus.

An economic relief bill signed by President Trump released with $1,200 for majority of adults and $500 for children, but it lacks in providing for a large percentage, explained by Wall Street Journal.

“The plan excludes anyone who isn’t a child and who can be claimed as someone else’s dependent,” says Richard Rubin, a tax policy reporter for Wall Street Journal. He explains many college students feel ignored by this plan.

Fox News released a list of companies hiring nationwide for those who lost jobs, as 3.3 million people have filed for unemployment. These jobs include Kroger, Pepisco, Papa John’s, CVS, 7-Eleven, Walmart, Walgreens, Domino’s, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Amazon, Aldi, Costco, Albertsons, H-E-B, Army National Guard, KPMG, Genentech, Lowe’s, HCA Healthcare, Intuit, Nepris, and Whole Foods.

“There are about eight million individual landlords in the United States, those who typically own between one and ten properties,” Diana Olick, a journalist for CNBC explains. Diana says many of these landlords will struggle with mortgage payments and struggle to get responses back from the renters.

William Grove: Phone number (702) 497–5479, email

Georgina Ramos: Phone number (702) 913–7325, email

Deirdre Johnson: Phone number (813) 309–3174, email

Written by Sydney Fischer 15 April, 2020. Quotes have been edited for clarity and brevity.

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Sydney Fischer

Junior at the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in political science and journalism.