Demand that UMD lower tuition and mandatory fees for Fall 2020

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I have been conversing with the University of Maryland for a while, attempting to have the tuition as well as mandatory fees for Fall 2020 lowered. UMD has been embarrassingly unhelpful and has left me no choice except to create this petition. The point of this petition is to showcase UMD's blatant disregard for their students by sharing an email thread between myself and campus staff, and to push for a rightful reduction in tuition and fees.

The email correspondence began by myself pointing out that many colleges around the nation were standing up to help their students financially during this pandemic. I received a short reply: "Thank you for contacting the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering. Being that UMD is a public, state institution, all tuition and fees are assessed as determined by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents; The Office of Student Financial Services (billtalk@umd.edu) has no authority on this matter."

I replied: "Did you know UMBC is within the University System of Maryland? Did you know UMBC lowered their tuition by 22% for fall for in-state undergraduate students? Did you know they decreased mandatory fees by $1,304 for the fall semester as a result of remote operations due to COIVD? Did you know UMD's endowment is over 3 times the amount of UMBC?"

I'm sure that they did know all this information, they just chose to blow me off. Nevertheless, they answered my email, saying: "While the USM Board of Regents determines tuition and fees, it is ultimately the Office of the Provost that has responsibility for guiding the academic direction of the institution."

Just to be clear, UMD first told me it was in the hands of USM. After relaying to them that UMBC was apart of UMS and they approved major cuts to their tuition and fees, UMD decided to blow me off again, shifting the blame yet again to someone else. So, Office of the Provost, if it is in fact your authority to decrease tuition and fees, why haven't you yet? With the majority of students never stepping foot on campus this fall, and sports seasons being cancelled, what exactly are we paying for?

Just to be clear, UMD obviously lied to me. Even after explaining I was a first generation college student from a single parent family with two children actively enrolled at UMD, they refused to help and simply lied to me. UMD does not care about its students, we are just dollar signs to them. But maybe, just maybe, if we make enough noise, they'll have no choice but to listen.

Rewinding for a second, yes UMD's endowment is over three times UMBC's (335.3 million vs 105.2 million). Did you ever stop while reading this to wonder why one University of Maryland institution is willing to help its students, while the other sits around doing nothing? Why is the one with the bigger checkbook failing so massively?

In case UMD's and UMBC's great difference in endowment didn't convince you, maybe this will: The mandatory fee breakdown listed on UMD's website lists the summary of the fees: Athletic Fee, Auxiliary Facilities Fee, Performing Arts and Cultural Center Fee, Recreation Services Fee, Shuttle Bus Fee, Stamp Student Union and Recreational Fee, Recreation Services Fee, Technology Fee, Telecommunications Fee. While we are paying for all these services, but never once using them this semester, the university is effectively STEALING from us.

Therefore, I call upon President Pines. While you have been so silent and unhelpful for the UMD students begging for you help them with their housing (SCC and CTY students), I am asking you to step up and act like a real president now. Do something, for Christ's sake.