“I was just super scared that I was going to get COVID or let the wrong people on the campus because we had to touch people’s Mack Cards. I had to deal with different parents everyday.”– Ashton Savage
Ashton Savage is a junior at Merrimack College who has worked for student security since the spring semester of 2021. As of the interview, Ashton had lived on campus for 3 years and so experienced life at Merrimack both before and during the pandemic.
In the interview, Ashton describes her experiences during COVID-19. She discusses her first time hearing about the virus and her experiences during lockdown. She also discusses life at Merrimack before the pandemic, the return to campus during the 2020-2021 school year, and her experiences working on campus during the pandemic with student security.
Erin Drew: So how did you initially feel to be working on campus during the pandemic?
Ashton Savage: I felt like I didn’t really have a choice I’ve always worked throughout high school and all of college. I started working, I think it was my second semester of freshman year. So i’ve always had a job and I felt like I needed to do it, no matter what. I didn’t really feel as an option and felt like I like didn’t really have a choice to do it. And so I was just super scared that I was going to get COVID or let the wrong people on the campus because we had to touch people’s Mack Cards. I had to deal with different parents everyday, I had people from the town of Andover coming onto campus for hockey. I had no idea of course where like anyone has been so I was just pretty nervous I was going to get it, and then spread it.
ED: Yeah so would you say like that factors into like specific challenges that you had in terms of dealing with people throughout the pandemic?
AS: Yeah definitely because I had a bunch of people that would tell me that COVID is fake or like that our rules like don’t make any sense and it’s pretty much the parents, mostly and like residents of Andover that would come onto campus. The students were pretty fine, but everyone else basically thought that like I was the one who made these decisions and that it was like my idea and I could just like change it whenever I wanted to, but it was like Merrimack College’s policy.
ED: So could you describe some of the specific protocols that are in place for your job regarding COVID?
AS: Yeah so like currently or then?
ED: Currently, well actually both so like has your job changed, from when you first started last spring to this year?
AS: Honestly not really because it’s COVID-I started when it was COVID and I’m still currently working there during COVID and basically if you have to be a registered guest no matter what well, one thing that did change was we weren’t allowed to have guests at all last year. No matter what, if you were coming to pick someone up you had to pick them up in the parking lot right when like the entry to campus began, so now, you can, and you have to be registered to go onto campus even if you’re a parent and you can’t come onto campus in any way unless you’re vaccinated and you have to prove that you’re vaccinated you have to have a license or any other ID that can match up with a vax card that shows you are who you are and if not, then you can’t come on to campus unless you’re a hockey parent. So like we did the Islanders practice and play games at–from Andover–at our rink and the parents there don’t have to prove that they’re vaccinated because they’re not affiliated with Merrimack, but they do if they decide not to show one, then we have to advise them that they have to wear a mask in order to enter anywhere that they are going.
This interview was conducted through Zoom at Merrimack College on November 21st, 2021, by Erin Drew.
This interview is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.