Asking a refund from Ohio State University: University reported revenue of over $7 billion, it is better equipped to bear the financial burden than students

Amid the coronavirus, universities classes are moved online and most students needed to vacate their dorms.

Now, many students who were sent home early from college want to see a refund for the meals and housing they aren’t able to use, but also for other on college fees.

Jadyn Aboubakare started an online petition which will be submitted to Student Business Services University of California Riverside (UCR).

She argues that, since Spring Quarter at UCR is entirely online, students should not have to pay for unnecessary fees for services that they cannot use.  

„This includes: SRC fees, Recreation Center Expansion, Student Center fees, Division 1 fees, ASUCR fees, and many other On-campus specific fees and charges. It is already burdensome enough that we are required to take courses online, void from the face to face interactions that UCR prides itself upon. It is even more burdensome and unfair to pay for services that we as students cannot even use. We pay money expecting it to be spent on us, the students. Now it is unclear how these funds will be spent since we are not on campus. Events like Spring Splash, IM’s, UCR sports, and more are being cancelled yet we are still be charged as if these are still happening“, wrote Aboubakare in an online petition.

This is just one in a series of online petitions started by students who are asking for their money back.

Over seventy thousand people signed a petition wanting a refund to students of Ohio State University.

„Because the last date of in-person instruction was March 6th, 2020, and because many students will be completing programs online that are not officially offered as online programs by the University, the students of The Ohio State University hereby request the University to refund all students the difference between the costs of in-person instruction and online instruction. Furthermore, because students residing in University dormitories will not be permitted to reside in those dormitories for the entirety of the semester, the students of The Ohio State University hereby request the University to refund those students who paid the full cost of university housing for the spring 2020 term. It is ultimately not the responsibility of Ohio State students, many of which are currently full-time students and thus are considered low-income earners, to bear the cost of the impact of the coronavirus on academic resources. The Ohio State University reported a 2018 yearly revenue of over $7 billion and is thus better equipped to bear the financial burden than us students“, wrote Johnathan Kacherski who started this petition.

After thousands of people signed a petition,  Ohio State University announced refunds for housing and dining adding that it will start issuing refunds on April 3.  

Petitions for housing and dining refunds are cropping up around the country, but there is no uniform approach for reimbursement.

Recently the dean of New York University’s Tisch School of The Arts Allyson Green made headlines after she sent students a two-minute-long video of herself dancing to R.E.M.’s “Losing my Religion” as part of her response to calls for a partial tuition refund.  

Green sent students an email on March 22.

Green said that she does not have the “authority to refund tuition,” and that doing so would be “challenging… at this perilous moment.”

“Having to switch to remote learning in the midst of a global pandemic in two weeks is not revenue making in the slightest,” Green wrote. “This is in fact costing the school and the University millions more, as they have turned immediately to help students move or return, and to prepare faculty, staff for unexpected new duties.”

According to Green, a majority of the school’s budget goes towards faculty salaries. She added that the campus continues to pay for facilities and equipment, whether or not students have access to them.

At the end of her email, however, Green — who, according to NYU’s website, is a “choreographer, visual artist, curator and arts educator” — attached a video of herself dancing to the song “Losing my Religion.” She wrote that it is the song she plays to “keep going in times of distress,” and invited students to “dance along.”

Many said they found Green’s email dissatisfying, and the video embarrassing.

Anarcho-Whataboutism on Twitter

The Dean of Tisch sent this as an attachment to the email saying they won’t give us our money back. Embarrassing.

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