Demand St. Olaf gives students Interim room and board refund

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St. Olaf’s website says, “There is no cost to the student for tuition, housing, or board plans if they are here for one full term in addition to interim,” making it clear that our interim fees are included within our fall and spring semester fees. The website also asserts, “there will be no refund if the student does not participate in interim”.

Given the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that students are required to leave campus unless they have extenuating circumstances, it seems students should receive a refund at least equivalent to room and board for the interim. Interim room and board is estimated to be worth $1,413. This figure is calculated based on an approximate 29 weeks in fall and spring semester, 4 weeks of interim, and $11,660 in yearly room and board fees. As such, students should receive a refund of at least $1,413. St. Olaf students came into this school year with the understanding that we were paying our room and board tuition to include interim. Given the fact that these goods and services will not be rendered by the institution, it seems appropriate that we, the students, are appropriately reimbursed.

This becomes especially clear as we analyze the loss of access to academic spaces during interim and the reduced quality of instruction, at no fault of the professors, that innately comes via online classes. Moreover, many St. Olaf students are experiencing financial hardship particularly due to the pandemic, and this money could help them pay for meals and other essential goods during this trying time.

Sign this petition to demand that administration appropriately reimburses students!