Refund Colorado State University Students' fees for things they no longer have access to
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Like many other institutions, Colorado State University has switched to online classes and closed down it's campus. This indefinite closure means that students no longer have access to a myriad of services, facilities, and materials which are included in their student fees. These include, but are not limited to:
- Access to the Recreation Center which includes several basketball courts, lots of workout equipment, a pool, hot tub, sauna, an indoor track, workout classes, yoga classes, and more
- Bus transportation to campus and around Fort Collins
- Access to the Morgan Library, which, in addition to books, internet access, and printing, provides research help, room reservations, interlibrary loans, tours, and electronic theses and dissertations
- Several coffee shops and eateries
- The Career Center, which helps students prepare for job searches after college and provides assistance on building a resume and tips on job interviews
- Rocky Mountain Student Media which produces a newspaper (The Rocky Mountain Collegian), a magazine (College Avenue), radio station (KSCSU), and TV news channel (CTV)
In addition, there are also technology fees, alternative transportation fees, and facility fees that students are charged.
In an email sent to students earlier this week, provost and executive vice president Rick Miranda stated that "since we anticipate completing the semester of instruction for all our students, tuition and fee refunds are not currently being offered." This means that thousands of students will not be refunded the money they paid for services, resources, and materials that the university itself has shut down and does not currently offer. Miranda does note that "CSU’s refund and tuition adjustment policy will follow the university’s regular semester protocols" and provides a link to the page on CSU's website that details this information. However, this page states that student refund requests can only be submitted "in writing, within the first two weeks after the add/drop date of the term for which the fee is imposed." The 2020 Spring semester started January 21st and the last day to add or drop classes was February 5th. That two week date ended on March 19th, four days before McConnell made the announcement that the university would be shutting down. Within the current perimeters, CSU has made it impossible for students to even request fee appeal.
As an senior majoring in Communication Studies taking 15 credits and paying in state tuition, I will be paying a minimum of $1,294.91 in fees for services, facilities, and materials I do not have access to. This can be calculated on this page on the university website, and this page offers a breakdown of base tuition and fees. It is worth noting that this number does not include any of the money spent in base tuition and per credit hour tuition that is now being done solely online rather than in person. With the minimal amount of time instructors were given to prepare to shift their material online, instruction will unfortunately not be at the level it would be in person, making paying full tuition seem inflated.
Among Colorado State University's principles of community are integrity and respect. With this decision to not refund any student fees or tuition, and making it impossible for students to even make an appeal, it is clear that the university administration is lacking in integrity and lack respect for their students. CSU defines integrity as "we are accountable for our actions and will act ethically and honestly in all our interactions." Charging students fees for services, facilities, and materials they are denied access to and making it impossible for students to even appeal for a refund is certainly unethical.
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