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RHS furloughs 700+ MSU student employees on short notice

September 22, 2020
The inside of the MSU Union Building on September 15, 2020.
The inside of the MSU Union Building on September 15, 2020.

Michigan State Residential and Hospitality Services, or RHS, student employees were notified Monday that they would be placed on a leave beginning Oct. 4, according to a letter from RHS Human Resources.

This notification was sent out to more than 700 RHS student team members, according to RHS Chief Communications Officer Kat Cooper. Notifications were sent out Monday, giving those furloughed a short 12-day notice.

"Unfortunately, due to the current house count on campus, we do not have enough work or income to maintain all student positions," Cooper said in an email. "This is a temporary measure, and we will look to bring these students back to work as soon as we have work to perform."

The short notice of the furlough mirrors the abrupt notification that student on-campus housing would be limited and all classes would be online.

The letter points to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the toll it has taken on university finances as reasoning for the furlough.

"We are in a financial situation unlike any other we’ve ever been in or even considered. Unfortunately, the circumstances are out of our control," the letter said.

Student members will remain active as RHS employees during this time, according to the letter. However, RHS does not have an expected return date at this time.

According to Cooper, furloughed team members were provided with a list of other hiring opportunities.

"We are sensitive to the reality that many students depend on this income to meet their needs, and deeply regret that the conditions of the pandemic has necessitated this action," Cooper said.


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