$1200 Refund for Housing Residents Who Vacate
Mar 24, 2020 —
On Friday, March 20 at 7:02 am, University Housing shared this update via email to residents of on-campus housing, informing students that, "the university is offering a $1,200 refund...this applies to all undergraduate and graduate students who are able to vacate their university residence hall or university apartment by 5 p.m. March 25."
While this is great news (made possible in part by your support of this petition), not all student's needs have been met yet. It is still unclear if any such refund is available for students of off-campus housing who had purchased a meal plan but had to return home. The University has still not offered retroactive financial support to those who had to leave campus at an unexpected personal expense before the resources available for travel through the Dean of Student's office were advertised to students.
Further, ResStaff members have been retroactively excluded from this refund. Later that same day, Jasmine Hamilton, Assistant Director/Area Coordinator for University Housing, shared in an email directly to Residence Hall student staff members that they would not be eligible: "Earlier today, an announcement was shared with all residents who lived in on-campus housing regarding refunds that would be distributed to students who have left or will be departing campus by 5 PM, March 25. Please note that ResStaff members do not pay for housing and are therefore not eligible for the announced refund." While her message claimed that ResStaff do not pay for housing, the room and board charge does in fact reflect on their student accounts; it is only offset by the "scholarship" awarded as compensation for their labor. The language of the University's initial announcement stated that "all undergraduate and graduate students who are able to vacate their university residence hall or university apartment by 5 p.m. March 25," with no exception for student staff members. I hope that Housing and the University will keep in mind that regardless of the technicalities of their decisions and announcements, many ResStaff members who left campus did so only after being requested to do so by the Director of Housing. Despite following the directives of the University and Housing leadership, they are now out of a job, and the meal plan they were expecting to sustain themselves off of, with no support from the University during this global pandemic.
Regardless of your relation to the University, THANK YOU for all of your support. While I acknowledge that there is no perfect solution, especially in times like these, it is important that we continue to fight to ensure all of us have the resources and support from our institutions necessary to survive through an uncertain future. Stay healthy and safe.
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