Student employees express gratitude for vaccine


Cameron Krasucki

A box of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines sits in a cool fridge at the Church of the Living God on Feb. 20. University workers are relieved that they were recently approved to receive the vaccine.

By Olivia Vamos, Contributing Writer

Workers at University dining halls serve countless people during shifts and are in close quarters with fellow workers, which puts them more at risk of contracting COVID-19.

Student workers said they feel safer coming to work and interacting with fellow employees and students after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Jesse Seo, freshman in LAS, is a dining services worker at Illinois Street Residence Hall. He said getting vaccinated has made him feel more comfortable working with others.

“It makes me feel more confident about going to work because then I don’t have to worry about the fear of getting sick from other people or other employees,” Seo said.

Trina Rodriguez, freshman in General Studies, is a student coordinator at ISR. Rodriguez said she feels more protected from COVID-19 after getting vaccinated, but continues to take precautions.

“I was (nervous) for a little bit,” Rodriguez said. “But with the precautions that (the University is) taking, it’s been pretty solid.”

University Housing lists dining hall safety regulations on its website. University Housing requires that all who enter residential halls wear face coverings over their mouth and nose. Social distancing guidelines such as limited dine-in seating are enforced.

Rodriguez said even with these safety measures and having received the vaccine, she’s still nervous by the amount of people visiting ISR.

“You just don’t know who has (the virus) and who doesn’t,” Rodriguez said.

Many workers who have received the vaccine, like Rodriguez, still practice safety precautions.

Wearing a mask is only effective if it covers b0th the nose and mouth and extends below the chin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kathleen Beetner, freshman in Engineering, is a student dining services worker at ISR. She says that even with mask regulations, people remove their masks to talk. However, Beetner said receiving the vaccine eased her anxiety.

“It makes me way more comfortable at work to have the vaccine simply because in combination with wearing the mask I’m at a substantially lower risk of contracting the virus,” Beetner said.

Having the vaccine gives an extra layer of comfort for workers if others are loosely adhering to University safety guidelines.

Beetner said she feels confident that she has done her part to take necessary precautions against the virus. Dining workers must still follow the safety guidelines after they are vaccinated.

After being vaccinated, Beetner says she is looking to the future and hoping for positive change.

“I feel a great deal of social obligation to (continue to practice safety regulations) because it is contributing to the community,” Beetner said.

[email protected]