College Rec Hiring, Staffing During the Pandemic

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Nirsa Article Line LogoDuring so-called “normal” times — that is, before the COVID-19 pandemic — the University of Minnesota’s Recreation and Wellness Department employed about 700 students. By the time campus recreation facilities reopened in the summer of 2020 with limited programming and capacity, the number of student staff members had dwindled to what associate department director Lisa Stephenson calls “the bare minimum.” And many of them were tasked with rigorous equipment cleaning and the unenviable responsibility of enforcing face mask policies. They also helped oversee new socially distanced intramurals activities such as badminton and cornhole.

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