Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Meghan Tveit

Upon receiving the news that we must leave campus and return to our homes for the remainder of the semester, I was immediately heart-broken. As a senior, this meant that my time at Harvard was coming to an unexpected end in only 3 short days. In the moment, I couldn’t comprehend the idea of packing up my room, saying goodbye to my incredible friends, and leaving behind a place that finally felt like home.
It took me some time to get settled into my new environment back in Seattle. I placed a great deal of value on the physical interactions with my peers and professors so the transition to online classes was difficult. Fortunately for me, I have an incredible support system at home, Wi-Fi, a loving family, and fresh food. I realize that this is not the case for many people, so I am grateful that my transition went as smoothly as it did.

Once I finally was able to take a deep breath, I realized there was a significant problem at hand. I work for Dorm Crew, which is a student-run organization employed by the university to clean the dorm bathrooms of students. Offering work to around 800 students, Dorm Crew is an essential source of income for many individuals, including myself. As you can imagine, the work we do for Dorm Crew is not transferable to our current situation. In order to carry out our work, we must be on campus. As a result, all of the students working for Dorm Crew were left unemployed. The necessary stream of income taken away. Myself, and many other captains, expected that the university would offer some sort of substitute role for Dorm Crew workers to compensate for this loss, yet that was not the case. Instead, we have been advised to look elsewhere for employment as the pool of funds typically allocated to Dorm Crew has been put towards essential travel and storage expenses for other students.

As a result, the Dorm Crew community has come together to support each other and make an effort to lift spirits. I am incredibly proud to be a member of the Dorm Crew community as their unconditional support for each other is unmatched. Although we can no longer work together, we still stay in-touch over social media and Zoom. Right now, we are focused on working together to secure temporary employment, while also finding ways to enjoy the present moment. 

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