By Carolynn Bucco
(GREENSBURG, Pa) — Last week students were shocked to see that The Cove, a campus favorite dining area, had cut back several hours of their normal shift. The student hotspot is forced to close at 3p.m. instead of 12 a.m. for the next 10 days due to the late-night staff being exposed to Covid-19. On September 28, 2021, by Jennifer Lundy, the Vice President for Finance, Administration and CFO sent an email informing that one worker during their night shift contracted Covid-19, causing the rest of the staff members to be considered close contact. The small cluster of workers were unvaccinated. As a result, those who were in contact with the infected worker were sent home for quarantine.
Before the cut back of hours, The Cove was already struggling to find workers for the night shift. “It had been a hard year for The Cove,” Lundy said. They’ve dealt with supply shortages as well as staff shortages. With the popularity of this campus location, keeping up with orders was difficult. They’ve had to remove many items from the menu, some being fan favorites. She emphasized that her and her administration have been working very diligently to recruit new members by advertising online and spreading the word. To help with compensation, they’ve raised the minimum wage for workers to $13.50, added bonus structures for consistent employees, and given job fair opportunities.
Darren Achtzehn, an Aramark employee and Dining Manager. He mentioned that though there is a prevalent labor shortage, they wanted to hire quality people to staff The Cove, which made it more difficult to find members. “This incident has created a big impact on students and faculty like myself.”
He as well as his administration feel as if they are not serving to the best of their ability. Along with his staff, the students have been impacted as well. The Cove is a comforting place to those across campus who need a quick meal, snack, or drink. It serves as both a place to study or “grab and go”. With it’s previous hours, it gave residents and or late-night commuters a place to fill their hungry stomachs with all their favorite foods.
Due to it’s tight space and popularity, the dining administration decided to hook up the Sidekick app for student take out. “When the app first opened for The Cove, it was so popular that they had over 400 orders within the hours of 4:30 – 8:00pm” said Achtzehn.
Though the hour cuts of The Cove is common talk around campus, both Jennifer and Darren want those who are concerned to know that they are working very hard to revive the campus location. They are thankful that the students of Seton Hill have been very patient and understanding through these tough circumstances. They hope for a healthy recovery for those who were infected with Covid-19, as well as those who were in close contact.
Published by Jerod Stull