Reduce Tuition for Georgetown Students Learning Online

Reduce Tuition for Georgetown Students Learning Online

January 8, 2022
Signatures: 242Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Dalton Nunamaker

Thank you all for helping us hold Georgetown accountable for taking advantage of students. We appreciate all signatures, but if you are affiliated with the university, please leave in the signature your NetID, title, or whatever you feel comfortable with. Here is the current situation:

In a letter to students and staff on the 29th of December, President John J. DeGioia relayed Georgetown University’s decision to begin the spring semester online and resume in-person classes on the 31st of January. While the university is allowing undergraduates the opportunity to move back to their residences from the 11th of January for the virtual period starting on the 12th, in-person events will be prohibited without University approval. Yates Field House, the on-campus gym, will remain closed and all campus dining facilities will be operating on a “grab-and-go” basis.

For a variety of reasons, many Georgetown students feel dejected and nervous at the prospect of more virtual instruction and a lack of substantive campus life. Certain student groups, particularly those in the classes of 2022 and 2023, will be living through their fifth semester of college impacted by greatly restrictive policies. Some students desire as normal a college experience as possible, allowing for meaningful socialization with peers and professors, the completion of academic work, and to conduct employment both on and off Georgetown’s campus.  At the same time, we recognize that a movement to full in-person learning beginning on the 12th of January is not feasible, given the decisions of some students to remain at home and the logistics of class planning as well as travel.

Nevertheless, many Georgetown students are fearful that eighteen days of virtual learning is a harbinger of an entire online semester, akin to the 2020-2021 academic year. The Georgetown community has thus far been extraordinarily diligent in promoting a safe campus environment, with a 98% vaccination rate, strict mask mandates, and a booster shot requirement all contributing to keeping case rates and hospitalizations extremely low. We recognize the threats posed by the Omicron variant and the high caseload in DC, but believe strongly that our adherence to Georgetown’s policies in the 2021 Fall Semester will be ample protection for Georgetown students, staff, and the community as a whole. 

Due to the administration’s decisions, Georgetown students are getting less than what they are paying for. Thus, it is only fair that we get tuition refunds that correspond to what we are no longer receiving and a commitment to a return to in-person learning. We feel that these requests are reasonable and we are frankly disappointed that the university did not announce any commitments when they made the decision to move to online classes until Jan 30th. 

We would like to ask the university to:

  1. Guarantee (barring massive, unforeseen changes to the public health situation) that there is no delay to returning to in-person campus activities at the January 31st date the university has set.
  2. Extend the withdrawal period which allows students a time window to withdraw from the semester and obtain a refund. Currently, the last day for a 100% refund is Jan 25th. This deadline should be moved to after students are no longer doing online classes so that students can be properly informed in their decision to drop should the online start be extended. Ideally, this would be a week after in-person classes are stated to resume.
  3. Grant students: 
    • A tuition cost reduction for the period of time that students will spend in a suboptimal learning environment. The university has acknowledged that virtual education is not the same by reducing tuition for the 2020-2021 school year and should do the same this semester.
    • A housing cost reduction for students who choose not to return to Georgetown’s Main Campus between January 11, 2022 and January 30, 2022.
    • A refund for the days during which students cannot access the Yates Field House while still being charged for it or that the university opens Yates Field House as normal. Some students, such as athletes and those in ROTC, need access to the gym and will have to pay for another gym (while still paying for the Georgetown gym). It is better that students use Georgetown gyms rather than external gyms so students stay within the campus community.
    • A meal plan refund for those who choose to not stay on campus and use the dining hall during the time when classes will be online.
    • Evidence that the amount of money being refunded corresponds to what students are missing out on, whether it be from online class, choosing not to use the meal plan or not having access to the Yates Field House. 
Support now
Signatures: 242Next Goal: 500
Support now