The GUSA Senate passed a resolution calling for Georgetown to expand work-study options for the fall semester at their meeting on June 28.
The resolution noted that many common work-study positions have reduced hiring for the summer and forecasts that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend will continue with the fall semester. Approximately 40 percent of Georgetown students are on some form of financial aid, which commonly includes work-study.
In light of these hiring trends, the potential that classes will be held virtually in the fall, and the risk that working in-person jobs poses to immunocompromised students, the resolution calls for Georgetown to expand its remote job offerings for students on federal work-study. It also asks the university to ensure appropriate safety precautions are taken to protect any students who will continue to work in person.
Sen. Joseph Yacovone (COL ’22) introduced the resolution and argued that expanded federal work-study options would help students secure employment during the fall. “Regardless of some of the obstacles we’re inevitably going to face because of the pandemic, there should be safeguards in place to protect those on financial aid, especially those that have federal work-study,” he said.
“Given that this is a very unique situation, I think that the university should consider expanding [federal work-study options] so that more people who do need these jobs to pay for college as part of their financial aid package can have that money to go and do that without having to worry about getting sick.”
Approximately 2,000 undergraduates have a summer job requirement, meaning they are expected to contribute $2,500 to the cost of school with income earned from working over the summer. Many of these students may have not been able to find jobs due to the pandemic, making work-study their only source of income since the spring.
Sen. Rowlie Flores (COL ’22) also spoke in support of the resolution, arguing that federal work-study options are especially important for low-income students. “Federal work-study positions are not only sources of income, but also sources of relevant work experience for low-income people, especially those who can’t afford to have an unpaid internship outside of campus,” he said.
The resolution passed unanimously by a voice vote with no abstentions. No senators spoke in opposition.
The Senate will hold its next meeting on June 6 at 9 p.m. EST over Zoom.