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The Antelope

The Antelope

Sodexo staffing suffers due to international student decline

GRACE McDONALD / ANTELOPE STAFF Student workers have taken on more responsibilities.

There is a worker shortage within UNK Dining due to the decline of international students.

With the pandemic still affecting international student enrollment, UNK Dining officials have struggled to fill all the roles needed to properly run the cafeteria. 

“We have had to depend on the student body to run the evenings and weekends,” said Eran Harrison, general manager of UNK Dining. “Most of the full-time staff we have, have other responsibilities during those shifts. Students really primarily run the entire show. If it wasn’t for them, it would be a very tough situation.” 

International students often seek out employment on campus due to their visas. Students can legally work on campus. When they seek employment outside of campus, visa issues begin to arise.  

“Students are allowed to legally work a maximum of 20 hours on campus,” said Tracy Falconer, assistant director of International Student Services, Admission and Immigration.

Regardless of the situation, UNK Dining officials have been supportive of student employees. 

Student employees are offered benefits such as scholarships and a free meal every shift. Many of these students are also introduced to the workforce. 

Student employees are assisted when they need support.

“Our manager, Adriane Madsen, over there is amazing,” said Prasanna Devkota, UNK Dining supervisor and student worker. “She does a whole lot for the international students.” 

“Being international, we have to go to Grand Island just to get our Social Security and most of us don’t have a way or means to go all the way to Grand Island. Our manager drives her own vehicle and takes four to five students or as many as she can fit in her car,” Devkota said. “She has had to go multiple times a week to get that done. I would say she is amazing and understanding.”

UNK Dining continues to navigate through the pandemic. As restrictions are lifted and more international students are able to come to UNK the situation continues to improve. 

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