Refund the Loyno Class of 2020 for their graduation fees

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Due to the on-going pandemic, the Class of 2020 at Loyola University New Orleans was denied their scheduled graduation on May 9, 2020. The university had a virtual "ceremony" on May 9, 2020 and was planning to have a rescheduled ceremony on August 7-9, 2020. However, on June 18, 2020, President Tania Tetlow has announced that the scheduled ceremony would only be a photo op with groups of less than 50 people. Graduates are allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies of OTHER COHORTS for the next 5 years, but will not have a full formal ceremony solely for the Class of 2020.

While the university has tried to accommodate our class in these unprecedented circumstances, they refuse to refund the Class of 2020 for graduation fees paid earlier in the year. These fees were $300, which is a large amount for young post-grads. Loyola states that "Graduation fees are not refundable because we are still planning to have an in-person Commencement ceremony and many of the other events we normally hold during Commencement week, options that are available to you. We realize that some of you may not make it in person, but graduation fees are always collected from all graduates, regardless of their participation in the ceremony and other Commencement events. There has been no change in policy." While this argument may be fair in normal circumstances, it seems ridiculous to force students to pay for a ceremony that will never take place. The Class of 2020 deserves to have their graduation fees refunded to all students in full.