SUNY/CUNY Schools' Room and Board Partial Refund

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Claire Akkawi
Claire Akkawi signed this petition

On March 11th, 2020, New York State governor Andrew Cuomo announced that all SUNY/CUNY schools would be moving to distance online learning due to health risks associated with COVID-19. Following this announcement was a slew of panic among everyone involved in the SUNY/CUNY system. Students, who are affected the most by this decision, are now suffering the consequences of this hard but necessary decision. 

Among the many issues, one of the largest is the ongoing attempt of these schools to steal the remainder of room and board money, despite students going home and thus not using it. For example, In a SUNY Fredonia email sent by the department of Residence Life students were informed: 

"Residence hall students can continue to live in your traditional hall or townhouse, and will be provided all residential and campus services as usual. However, given the flexibility offered via online and alternate instruction modes, you may choose to return home. Since Spring Break begins on March 14th, if resident students choose to leave campus housing early, now is a good opportunity to move their belongings. Please note that moving out early is a personal choice, and students are financially responsible for all Spring 2020 housing (and if applicable, meal plan charges)"

While this email was refuted (as a lot of information has been), there is a state of confusion regarding this money which should be partially refunded no matter the circumstance. It is already a gross overcharging of students to charge the amount they do for relatively low quality housing and food. It is already an injustice that our tuition money is being paid for an education from a computer screen, and unacceptable to charge for students for a room they will not be able to use.

The purpose of this petition is to let both the state and SUNY/CUNY system know that students will not tolerate schools' taking advantage of a viral pandemic in order to steal money.  By signing this, we promise to partake in organized peaceful protest on SUNY/CUNY school properties across the state this Fall, should our refunds never be issued. 

The date of said protest will be determined following the official decision of whether or not to refund our money.