Demand a Fair and Transparent COVID-19 Response from the University of Michigan

Demand a Fair and Transparent COVID-19 Response from the University of Michigan

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Joshua Sodicoff started this petition to Board of Regents and

In March, we saw the first signs that the University would not prioritize student welfare during this crisis when they attempted to informally evict students living on campus and offered a housing refund with disregard for both the real cost of housing and the policies in place. Now we’re expected to stand by while they decide on how to proceed with the coming academic year. How can we expect them to charge appropriately in the contingency that Fall classes are online when tuition remains the same for Spring and Summer courses? Who would believe that they would, on their own, adjust charges to account for the financial strain caused by spikes in under- and unemployment caused by an extended quarantine? We understand the University is doing a lot right now to coordinate and accommodate students’ needs through the global pandemic, but currently many are struggling through financial uncertainty that has yet to be addressed by the University. We’re acting now to influence decisions made by the Board of Regents to consider our perspective, the perspective of approximately 30,000 undergraduates.

We all know the University is essentially a business. Well, we’re customers and if we’re dissatisfied we can choose not to pay for their unaffordable services. By signing this, you are voicing solidarity for a university-wide tuition strike in the event the university has not satisfied our terms. We, as a student collective, can negotiate for ourselves a fair deal with administration. This requires a united effort that includes voicing our terms and threatening organized action if they are not met. This is a pledge to support yourself and your fellow students regain some financial stability through this global crisis.

Below is our formal statement of demands, addressed to the Board of Regents.

“We, a representative body of undergraduates of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, call on our administration to make decisions sensitive to the needs of all members of the university community throughout the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. We have felt immense dissatisfaction from the repeated refusals of administrators to consider the harm of policies that minimize financial damages to the university at the expense of its students. We therefore petition that the Board of Regents vote in favor of the five following concessions to the student body at their June meeting:

  • A 50% discount for tuition and fees for the Spring, Spring/Summer, and Summer 2020 terms, a 25% tuition discount for the Fall 2020 terms, with an additional 25% discount in the event that classes continue in an online format. This must come with a guarantee that students will not see an increase in overall cost  as a result of changes to financial aid.
  • A pro-rata refund, retroactively effective March 12th for room and board, tuition, and fees for the Winter 2020 term
  • Subsidies for rent payments for students living off campus, and university assistance in terminating leases in the event that classes continue in an online format in the Fall.
  • Additional academic resources, including additional tutoring and make-ups for lab courses, meant to compensate for the decrease in quality of the second half of the Winter 2020 term.
  • A 50% reduction in expenditures toward executive officers and service units as well as a half reduction in utility costs passed on to students as a means of partially offsetting these demands

If the Board does not meet these demands, we threaten to withhold all tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 academic year unless a compromise is reached. In times of crisis, we rely upon both the administration and policy-makers to provide a humane and equitable response for their students. We will not abide administrators pocketing our savings while we suffer years of debt and financial burden.”

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!