Camp Crimson employees are expressing their outrage on Twitter after being notified of major changes Monday night, weeks before an in-person Welcome Week was set to take place.
OU Director of Media Relations Kesha Keith said in an email seasonal employment for Camp Crimson staffers was set to expire this Friday, and no layoffs occurred. Keith said the following in the email:
We want to acknowledge the good work of the students who have been connected to Camp Crimson during the time of COVID-19. This year’s virtual Camp Crimson, while not the in-person experience that was anticipated by students and staff alike, was innovative and important to our incoming students. We are currently exploring opportunities for the Camp Crimson staff to continue their work with students through Crimson Welcome Week while managing the evolving nature of the current public health crisis. In an effort to adhere to policies and the changes associated, Crimson Welcome Week programming will continue as Student Affairs actively works on a plan to support student leaders and incoming students in the days ahead.
According to one employee on Twitter, he was given a $600 check for his work, and employees were told their last day to work would be Friday.
Other employees have indicated different pay amounts owed.
According to one source, camp staffers were notified in a Zoom meeting, and those that couldn't make the meeting were notified over GroupMe.
Other ex-employees also said they had experienced their own share of issues with Camp Crimson.
o staff: we are committed to go through with virtual camp even though it’s not what we signed up for, we are getting paid terribly and we will give our alllou: you guys are fired oh and you cant come to welcome week or we will escort you offus: but we planned thisou: pic.twitter.com/QqIQ2WYTZn— carrie (@carriehallway) July 28, 2020
If we logged more than 20 hours, we were asked to leave them offIf we had opinions, we were silenced or stifled with toxic positivityWe put up with it expecting to see the results of OUR project thru (and now we can’t due to HR). I’m livid. #campstopped— conner? (@whata_number) July 28, 2020
The decision to prevent Camp Crimson’s employees was sharply criticized on Twitter by people outside of the organization as well.
I don’t go to OU, but I have seen how much hard work my girlfriend has put into Camp Crimson week in and week out. This was something she was passionate about. All for her and her peers to get chewed up and spit out... oh! And not to mention: EXPLOITED!#CampStopped— Jake Roberts (@b0b3rts) July 28, 2020
woke up to news that camp crimson staff were fired two weeks before the big event that they’ve been planning since october . these students gave up their summer to give incoming freshmen like myself , a great introduction to ou .university of oklahoma , do better #campstopped— milena semere (@MilenaSemere) July 28, 2020
At the time of publication, there has been no word from Camp Crimson about its decision. The Daily has reached out to Bridgitte Castorino, assistant director for orientation and transfer programs at OU, and is awaiting a response.
This article was updated at 12:29 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, to indicate there was a Zoom meeting in which employees were notified about employment changes, different employees are owed different amounts by the camp, and that one of the tweets was from an ex-employee, not a person outside the camp. The headline was also updated at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, to indicate the employees were being notified about changes to Welcome Week. This article was updated at 9:06 a.m. Wednesday, July 29, to reflect a statement from OU Director of Media Relations Kesha Keith.