Here is a message we received on Tuesday that illustrates what one student worker is up against:
As a student worker in the bookstore, I am not directly working for WMU, and the university has never provided me work study, even though I meet all the qualifications. Nevertheless, I am directly impacted by the shutdown, because I have not had any hours for weeks, and I am basically out of work. However, the nature of my job makes qualifying for unemployment easier said than done, and the company that runs the bookstore does not seem to have any assistance programs at this time. In light of this, will the fund you are establishing be of any help to me as a student of WMU?
I am unable to pay my electric bill at the moment, and I was short on my internet bill, both of which are causes for extreme concern with classes now being online. Consumers Energy is providing leeway, but the limited staffing is making it difficult to communicate with the internet company to see if I can get any help. Now, I could apply to Invisible Needs for the funding, but that is something I can only do once in a year, for up to $1,000, and if I do it for something that’s going to cost less than $25, then I could be barring myself from getting aid for something more major later on this semester, which is not a good move in an emergency situation like this one, even if there is only a month left before finals. I have to make the call, but I am not sure which one to make.
My husband does have income, thankfully, between having a disability and being a veteran, that will not dry up, but it is not adequate to support all our bills without my assistance, so loss of my income is a rather serious blow at this moment, and finding help for which we can qualify is difficult. On top of that, I am still waiting to hear if WMU will compensate me for the month I lost on my dorm and meal plan from me being forced to move out early; I already had to spend money we did not have on gas to move my possessions from my dorm back to Battle Creek, which has cost me time and the ability to take care of class-related work I needed to do, as well, and I would really like to know if anything is in the works in that area too, since it would definitely help at this point.
We hear you, and we’re going to do our best to help.