Letter to the editor: Make college futures bright again

opinion

The Easterner

By Shayla Floch, Guest Columnist

Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Easterner, its staff or Eastern Washington University. This letter has not been edited except for AP style.

Dear Editor of The Easterner,

College students have always gotten the short end of the stick. Student loans, limited scholarships and heightened emotions from growing up and figuring this life out on our own leaves us broke and confused. As if these struggles are not enough, we have now found ourselves in the middle of a pandemic. With one more year left at Eastern Washington University, myself and many others are terrified to see what the work force holds for us…if it holds anything at all.

As mentioned in the article, our country lost 20.5 million jobs in the month of April. The unemployment rate of 14.7% haunts students looking for jobs. There are businesses in the Spokane area that will not be able to reopen with the ease of COVID-19. Some of these businesses include Sapphire Lounge, Party Palace, Tomato Street and Rocky Rococo Pizza. On top of those businesses, 94 childcare centers have been closed in Spokane County (KREM 5/14/20). All of these jobs are part-time openings that students pursue while working towards finishing their degrees. Closures and job losses caused by COVID-19 has harmed millions of people across the globe. College students are especially hurt by COVID-19. Closures from the virus have left students jobless and worried for their future.

While there is not much that we can do about our community’s current situation, it is not to say that the system does not need some work. I understand the importance of slowly reopening the state, but we can do so in a way that helps those who are struggling by taking the right precautions. Possible solutions are opening different little shops or farmer’s markets that are acceptably distanced. This will give people the chance to sell their produce or other items to make a profit. Masks could be required, and hand sanitizer could be provided at every stand. Eastern Washington University could provide students with deep cleaning jobs while we prepare to reopen the university. This could include cleaning the dining areas, the URC, the Phase, the library, classrooms and different offices and departments throughout EWU.

Offering these jobs are the best solution we have, because it is one of the only options we have. These ideas will open jobs for students currently enrolled at Eastern. However, these ideas do not necessarily help students who have graduated and are looking for a job outside of Cheney. Those students will have to work very hard to find a job at a company that can afford to keep them. Students in entrepreneurship will have a lot of opportunity going into a recovering economy. Acting on those opportunities could make or break their futures. The future of our economy is unsure, so the best thing we can do now is offer as many jobs we can afford to.

Sincerely,

Shayla M. Floch

In response to The Easterner’s May 11 article titled “April job losses show EWU students an uncertain future”