Queen's University: Partial Tuition Refund

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Queen’s University has decided to implement a number of preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading to the student population. Examples of this include the recent decision to cancel all in-person classes, as well as close many facilities on campus. While done to prioritize students’ safety and wellness, it is necessary to discuss the financial impacts this has on our student body. 

While we commend professors on their valiant efforts to host online classes during this difficult period, there are many barriers that affect students’ abilities to access this education. Barriers such as time zone differences, access to the internet, and living in environments not conducive to learning all affect their ability to access the high-quality teaching that Queen’s promised their students when they paid their tuition fees. 

When students agreed to pay their tuition fees, they did so expecting a certain level of education. Students are not able to access resources they would have otherwise if physically present, such as in-person lectures, professors’ office hours, TAs’ working sessions, access to facilities such as libraries, study rooms, the Athletics and Recreation Centre, etc. This lack of access to these resources solidifies the rhetoric that students are unable to get a justified return on our tuition payments. The quality of education students are currently receiving is not worthy of the exorbitant amounts they pay in tuition and fees. 

In addition, a significant amount of domestic students take out loans to fund their tuition and now cannot get anything sufficient in return for this sacrifice. Many students who had anticipated being able to pay off these loans this summer now find themselves unable to do so because of the lack of internships and employment opportunities available. Moreover, this issue is significantly more stressful for international students, who pay as much as $25,000 a semester to study at Queen’s. Ignoring these issues invalidates the emotional and financial burdens students took on if they are not partially reimbursed for their tuition.

Because of the reasons discussed in this petition, we are asking Queen’s University to give partial refunds to all its students.