‘Financially, it’s kind of ugly for me’: How the coronavirus hurts Sac State students’ finances

Many businesses cut hours or lay off employees


Garry Singh

Seen here is the Hornet’s Nest located inside the University Union at Sac State Monday March 16th, completely empty.

Garry Singh

The coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses throughout the nation to cut hours or close, leaving many out of work, including students at Sacramento State. 

 On Thursday, the state of California ordered residents to “stay home except for essential needs to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus outbreak. It also said that only businesses deemed necessary to support society, like healthcare, grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies are allowed to stay open.

With the order, many students in retail, food services, education or other “nonessential” sectors are left struggling to make ends meet. 

Melissa Silva, a business administration major, works for Michael Kors in the Arden Fair mall and BCBGMAXAZRIA at the Vacaville Premium Outlets. She said both jobs laid her off for the time being without an explanation of her future earnings.

“It’s a lot of stress especially because a lot of the students don’t know how they’re going to get their income,” Silva said. “It definitely made me reconsider what I was going to do. So I had to kind of move back to my hometown and figure it out over here with my parents because I wasn’t going to just be at home and do nothing.” 

Malcolm Black, a general manager at the Round Table on campus was left unemployed after Sac State closed most on-campus dining.  

RELATED: Sac State closes Union, library, dining services to mitigate coronavirus spread

“Just like all the students, you have mortgages, you have electricity bills, you got insurance, things of that nature that you have to pay,” Black said. “So you only have so much time if you’re not working.” 

According to the California Department of Labor,, unemployment insurance claims filed during the week ending on March 14, increased by 14,823 from the previous week. 

RELATED: INFOGRAPHIC: How to file for unemployment amid the coronavirus outbreak

Ulysses White, a construction management major, worked for The Home Depot near Sac State. White said he and other employees were laid off due to the worsening economy from COVID-19 fears. 

“Financially, it’s kind of ugly for me because I have to handle a car note, rent and more,” White said. “I have to dedicate more time into looking for a job but, because a bunch of other companies are laying off too, it’s harder to get a job and it’s stressful.”

Sidney Quezada, a child development major, works for the Elk Grove Unified School District as an after school paraeducator. She said she will be laid off for a few weeks since the schools have closed.

“I can’t spend as much as I used to and I really have to value what I have, like groceries and the whole thing,” Quezada said. “I have to preserve everything and I have to focus more on what is actually needed.”