By Alyssa Spagna, Staff Writer
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak on campus causing a two week pause for in-person classes, Hillwood Commons changed its hours of operation. The Hillwood Café is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Subway is open Monday through Thursday from noon to 4 p.m., and Starbucks is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is closed on Saturdays during the pause.
“Do people not drink coffee on Saturdays?” junior psychology major Kaitlyn Evans said. “I understand the need for extra cleaning time due to COVID, but these changes are a bit extreme.”
The change in hours was not announced to the public prior to the two week shut down.
“I wish I knew about the time changes in Hillwood before this all started,” Evans said. “I feel very out of the loop.”
Student and staff members of Hillwood Commons are discounted with the change in hours.
“I have no shifts for the next two weeks and it is going to be difficult paying some of my bills this month,” junior music education major and barista at Starbucks Kaitlyn Sottung said.
Starbucks employees have been put in a situation that Sottung says is unfair.
“They cut our hours after we went online for classes and it really made things difficult for a lot of my coworkers,” she said. “It was unevenly distributed, with some of us working three shifts, and some working none.”
The students who work in Hillwood are facing financial struggles due to this partial shutdown.
“Some of us had to apply for unemployment for the next two weeks, just to make enough money to pay our bills,” Sottung said.
Although the hour changes have been a struggle for employees and students alike, there are some positive aspects to shortening the hours.
“Even though this change was sprung upon us with no warning, I do like the fact that they’re taking the time to really clean Hillwood,” Evans said.
Sottung agrees with Evans.
“I feel safe working in Starbucks this semester because I’m not working in the store with any of my coworkers at all,” she said.
When classes resume in-person on Nov. 2, Hillwood normal hours will return.