Releasing UMD students from their 2020-2021 leases

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My name is Alyssa Shermer, I am a senior at the University of Maryland. I am starting this petition today because of the decisions that the University has made regarding housing. On 7/16/2020, I contacted South Campus Commons to dissolve my lease, I was told I couldn’t and my only option was to find a subleaser. With 80% of UMD courses being online and a raging global pandemic, it is difficult to find another student who is willing to take over current leases and take on the risk of Covid-19. Students with contracts for dorm housing were given the opportunity to back out of their leases with the University but those with apartment contracts were not. While I understand that we have signed a contract with the housing office, we were forced to make those decisions back in February before anyone could have foreseen the pandemic and online courses.

I understand the University has lost money due to the pandemic, but I urge South Campus Commons and Courtyards to consider the students who are being forced to pay for housing they no longer need or can’t use due to fear of contracting Covid-19. I believe it is the University’s responsibility to take care of its students, that being said I don’t believe students should be forced to live in conditions they feel are unsafe. 

I have reached out to Governor Hogan regarding this issue and I am awaiting his response. Please sign this petition to show your support for the health and safety of UMD students. 

Thank you for your time,

Alyssa Shermer