MICA, Refund Students!

MICA, Refund Students!

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Moriah Smith started this petition to MICA Sammy Hoi and

As of March 11th, after being faced with the ongoing pandemic that is COVID-19, Maryland Institute College of Art announced that, effective March 30th, all face to face instruction would be suspended until further notice. With this announcement, MICA informed professors to move instruction online. Students have been asked to evacuate all dorms and on campus studios and all on campus events and shows have been cancelled or postponed. While we understand the difficult position that the pandemic has put Maryland Institute College of Art in, this suspension of face-to-face instruction and suspension of access to studios and other on-campus resources presents a notable reduction in the quality of our education that we as students expected to receive at this institution. The students of MICA (undergraduate and graduate) fear that this change in education will negatively affect both our education and our potential in professional environments post graduation. We also fear that this new mode of instruction will not be consistent with the costly tuition payments that we made for this semester, and especially the on-campus resources that we paid for. For example: use of laser cutters, 3D printers, wood shop tools, ceramic throwing wheels, kilns, sewing machines, looms, computers, printers,scanners, cameras, printing presses, etc. Additionally, MICA students are facing a total cancellation in extracurricular activities and professional engagement due to the cancellation of events, such as: Gallery openings and shows, artist lectures, art walk, Graduation, on campus events, and club meetings. Collectively, this threatens to not only affect our short-term development, but also our potential outcome in our lives after MICA. This is especially concerning for our graduating seniors, who will not only be graduating into a recession, but will have their last memories of MICA tainted by this extremely stressful situation. As students at MICA, we rely heavily on-campus technology, studios, and other resources. Without these resources, creating art for classes is harder for most, and impossible for some. The money we invested into these resources is lost. Because of this huge financial, personal, and professional loss, the students of MICA demand that our technology fee, student life fee, class fees be refunded by at least half and that our tuition be pro-rated or reduced, specifically funds that contribute to maintaining on-campus resources be refunded if possible. We also ask that students with work-study continue to receive their expected pay for the semester, and that partial room and board be reimbursed and meal plans be reimbursed (or carry on to the next semester) for those who will be unable to remain living in their on-campus housing or use their meal plans. We also ask that travel and moving cost will be reimbursed to students on financial aid, who were forced to quickly evacuate campus.We call upon Sammy Hoi, Doug Mann, and The Board of Trustees to address this lack of quality within our new form of education, a quality that MICA prides itself on, and that we pay for. While we note that the school does not have the endowment of many sizable private institutions, we nevertheless ask that the school protect their current students financial investment during this unprecedented and trying time.

Thank you for your time,

                 The MICA Student Body

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At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!