Student services have a little less help thanks to the suffering economy.
Paul Baker/the Gauntlet

Recession leads to campus job losses

Six SU employees told to go home after concerts stop bringing in the dough

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It was a hard goodbye for six Students' Union staff who won't be coming back anytime soon.

An event operations supervisor, two Den and Black Lounge managers, a kitchen staff member, the Student Union Volunteer Services manager and a loading dock shipper/receiver were let go recently.

SU president Dalmy Baez said that the decision was made early January in response to a lack of revenue.

"Given the economic position, our forecasts are quite off," said Baez. "We're not in any kind of dire financial position right now, but we know that we're going to have to be tighter fiscally. We're being proactive and we took a very strong look at our organization and identified some areas we think we can continue to provide services to students by implementing some kind of restructuring."

According to the SU, both the impact of positions cut and the fiscal implications were taken into consideration when making the decision.

"We looked at their salaries [and] we looked at the services that we provide as a Students' Union," said Baez. "We felt that these six positions were the ones that we would be able to let go without having such an impact on the way we deliver services to students."

The layoffs come in light of the slow economy's impact on SU-run businesses. Conference and events revenue declined because of a lack of clientele and touring bands.

As the businesses generated less revenue used to help fund student services, it was important to make some changes in order to continue providing services to students, Baez said.

"The whole point of the restructuring is to kind of ensure that, as an organization, we survive," she said.

Most of the positions affected by this decision are not in direct contact with students. The only student service to take a loss was Volunteer Services office, which lost its senior executive and will eventually be grouped into the SU clubs.

The transition is proving to be a bit bumpy for some as duties are being redistributed.

"Right now it seems pretty disorganized," said a volunteer with Volunteer Services, who wished to remain anonymous. "All of the organizations, they always bring updates to the manager. At this point nobody really knows [what] people are doing. I could see that it could take a while for things to start running smoothly again."

The SU maintained that while the cuts were unfortunate, they were necessary.

"At the end of the day, we looked at all the numbers and this was the right decision to make," said Baez.

Representatives of the SU businesses affected by the layoffs declined to comment.