COVID-19: Unit Guidance for Messaging to Student Employees

To the greatest extent possible, we encourage personal outreach to student employees.

  • Supervisors should make every effort to verbally discuss the student employee’s employment status. The points below should be used in these discussions.
  • In units with large numbers of student employees, outreach by email may be necessary. In this case, the points below should be incorporated into the messaging.
    HR has developed a template for messaging directly to student employees: View template.

All forms of correspondence with student employees should include:

  1. Acknowledgment of the impact COVID-19 is having on the term for them, both academically and financially, and for UO.

  2. Gratitude for their contributions and hard work as student employees.

  3. A request for the student to confirm their intent to return for the spring term.

  4. Where possible, highlight opportunities for continued engagement in work assignments – remote, in person (if available to support critical campus operations), in other departments across campus – even if the opportunities are short term they should be offered and be made available.

  5. If the student is planning to return and continued work assignments are not possible (non-federal work study students), inform them that:

    • They can use any accrued sick leave to cover missed shifts. They should notify their supervisor if they would like to use these leave options.
    • once they exhaust their sick leave options, we are discontinuing their employment due to lack of work.

    • we will keep their name for future employment opportunities at the university.

NOTE regarding Federal Work Study– We are working to make policy decisions related to the federal work study program.

  1. Job search information:

    • You can access Handshake, a career-readiness community for UO students and alumni. Handshake includes local, national, and international positions.

    • The University Career Center offers a number of resources, including career coaching.
      You can schedule an appointment with a career coach by calling 541-346-3235 or via the Navigate app at

  2. Information about the student hardship fund in the Dean of Students Office. Suggest language:
    If you are facing financial difficulties, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students for help navigating your options. Email or call 541-346-3216 during business hours.

  3. Information about unemployment benefits. Please use this language approved by Human Resources and General Counsel:
    The State of Oregon Employment Department provides information and resources regarding unemployment, including a temporary rule. Qualifying for unemployment benefits is determined by the state agency and is based on criteria that includes hours worked and wages earned during a specified period of time. Typically, full-time students who are working as student employees at their university have not been awarded unemployment benefits. We cannot say how the state is going to treat these claims, particularly in light of the current state of emergency, and we will continue to monitor the situation. You can always file a claim to see if you receive benefits, and you are encouraged to explore available resources to learn more about your options.

  4. Contact information for student employees to reach out to the unit with specific questions.