Unethical Housing Addendum: Washington State University 2020-2021

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***UPDATE 07/07/2020***

Hey guys! I would like to give a big thank you to everyone who shared and signed this petition. Also a big thank you to those who emailed the school with our concerns. Washington State University Mary Jo Gonzales, Vice President of Student Affairs sent out an email on July 7, 2020 stating that the addendum has been rewritten. 

Link to the revised addendum: https://housing.wsu.edu/housing-essentials/contracts-and-policies/residence-hall-contracts-and-policies/2020-2021-addendum-for-housing-contracts/

Without you guys, this wouldn't have happened. Thank you so much for helping me fight for whats right and voicing your concerns. 

Washington State University sent out an email to students on July 1, 2020 around 4:30pm about the current housing situation and created an addendum housing contract for the 2020-2021 school year that is unethical and immoral. The contract states that if the university requires students to vacate their residence hall due to COVID-19, the university will still REQUIRE students to pay the full amount of their cheapest residence hall and lowest dining account level. This is unacceptable, as first year students (and ALL students living on campus) are required to pay for the entire year, even if Washington State University decides to close their campus and vacate the dorms. This addendum was poorly thought out and will negatively affect first generation students, low income students and the whole entire student body of WSU.  

WSU has also decided to charge their students the price difference between single vs double occupancy rooms. The single occupancy rooms are pricier and students have no choice but to live in a single occupancy room this year (only some students will get to dorm with a roommate). This non-negotiable price increase for dorms is wrong and should not be allowed especially considering this very unique time in history. Western Washington University even announced that they “are not charging more than the double room rate to any residents living with us fall quarter.” WSU should accommodate their students like other universities have.

Additionally, the University of Washington even agreed to reasonably reimburse their students if COVID-19 were to affect their residency. They stated, “the university will offer fair and reasonable reimbursement for impacted residents as appropriate and based on information available at that time” WSU needs to take into account the needs of all their students, as other schools have done so. WSU even stated, “We know this is a difficult decision to hear…”, which insinuates that they understand that taking money from students for services that are not being rendered is completely wrong and unethical. Washington State University can do better. This contract needs to be rewritten and thought out.

In 2017, freshmen enrollment at WSU Pullman was 3,939. The goal is to get at least 5,000+ people to sign before it gets sent out to WSU on the 12th of July. The 5,000+ will represent the incoming freshmen class, returning students, alumni, parents and everyone else who is supporting this petition. An email expressing the concerns of students, alumni and parents will be sent to Washington State University's team with a PDF list of everyone's name who has signed this petition. Please continue to sign and share this page. 

People to email:

President of WSU Kirk Schulz: PresidentsOffice@wsu.edu

Housing staff director Edwin Toshio Hamada: ehamada@wsu.edu

WSU Housing: housing@wsu.edu

Link to the contract: https://housing.wsu.edu/housing-essentials/contracts-and-policies/residence-hall-contracts-and-policies/2020-2021-addendum-for-housing-contracts/

“1. I understand that I cannot cancel or terminate my WSU Pullman Housing and Dining Financial Contract due to changes in university operations resulting from COVID-19 in the 2020-2021 academic year. This remains true even if the university unexpectedly requires that I vacate my residence hall space and does not provide me any alternative housing due to COVID-19.  In addition, I understand that if I am required to live in approved university housing according to the Undergraduate housing requirement, commonly known as the First-year Live-in Requirement (FLIR) and if I cancel or terminate my contract without living in approved university housing for 2 semesters, or without receiving a waiver of FLIR, that I will be charged the equivalent of the lowest residence hall room rate, along with the Dining Base Cost and Residential Dining Account (RDA) Level 1, from the contract start date through the end of the contract term regardless of whether I actually reside in a residence hall or utilize my housing and dining plan.  This policy remains true even if COVID-19 related concerns or other force majeure cancel, shorten, convert to on-line, or otherwise alter any or all WSU Pullman based class.”