Let BYU Students Cancel their Housing Contracts Amid COVID-19

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On March 12, BYU sent a message to its students encouraging all students to "consider leaving campus and returning home."

If you live in BYU approved housing, section 23(b) of your contract reads as follows:

"The agreement may be terminated ... if the student leaves school due to a verified unforeseeable and unexpected catastrophic loss or serious illness."

Unfortunately, some, if not all, BYU approved landlords do not consider COVID-19 an unforeseeable, unexpected catastrophic loss or serious illness.

Some landlords believe that students should have to show an astronomically significant personal hardship because of the virus before a student should be able to terminate the agreement.

But why should they?

Many students won't be able to pay rent because of the economic catastrophe. Other students will be able to pay, but not without severe hardship. How is a student supposed to prove that to their landlord?

Many students are at high risk for COVID-19 or have loved ones who are high risk. Given that infection is imminent, why should a student wait to get infected or to see a loved one get sick before terminating their contract?

Many students live in housing arrangements that necessarily include close contact with many other people. BYU has prohibited all in person gatherings with more than 10 people. How is a student supposed to avoid 9 other people when they live on the same floor as a hundred other people? Wouldn't it be safer to allow students to go home?

We recognize that for some students, it is better not to go home. We are asking that our contracts be honored if we chose to go home.

Our university has asked us to go home. Let us go home!

This petition applies to all residents living in BYU approved housing, including UVU and institute students.