BGSU’s inaugural winter session provided the opportunity for students to study abroad, catch up on classes and share quality time with friends and family; it was perceived positively by some students and faculty. Unnoticed, however, were the businesses and workers within the community that were negatively impacted by the lack of students for an extra two weeks.
Many students work in the town of Bowling Green, making a manager’s job more stressful when they go home for the holidays.
Among the businesses affected was Biggby Coffee, found a half-mile from campus.
“There aren’t as many people (to work), so I had to pick up a lot of shifts. Everyone’s hours were a little different; sometimes we had to send people home early,” Manager Julia Myers said.
Myers said business was down significantly as well. She explained that BOGO Wednesdays, a deal Biggby Coffee offers every week, normally sells around 300 to 400 cups throughout the day. During the break, the cup count only reached anywhere from 150 to 200 cups.
Businesses were not the only ones affected. Students living in townhouses or apartments during the extended break had to think about their own well-being.
Junior journalism student Lindsey Haynes lives in Bowling Green for the majority of the year, working as a server at The Stones Throw Tavern & Grill. Her experiences support what other students may have struggled with throughout winter session.
“During winter session, I was lucky to get $50 a night, which made it harder to budget my money; wherever I could, I picked up shifts. I had to borrow money to pay rent this month. Not going to lie, it was pretty rough.”
She also resorted to making creative Christmas presents for her friends instead of buying gifts to save money.
“I’m kind of grateful for the opportunity to get back into that again,” she commented.
BGSU is already planning for next year’s winter session. Stories of struggle from the town’s community begs the question on how businesses will react in future years.