Revoke retroactive fees

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Dan Stumborg
Dan Stumborg signed this petition

The U of S college of nursing is retroactively charging nursing students extra fees for courses they have already completed and received credit for, reaching back to May of 2019 due to a $200,000 "technical oversight".

On April 4th 2019, the college emailed all nursing students a memo regarding new fees that would be added and collected along with the rest of our tuition costs. This memo applied to second and third-year nursing classes; for a total of 6 affected classes. This cost was to be charged from students' accounts along with the rest of tuition at the beginning of each term.

On April 2nd, 2020, almost exactly a year after the initial memo was sent, nursing students were informed via email that there were technical oversights which meant students would have to pay retroactive fees. Three classes that were not indicated in the original memo sent in April of 2019 were added to the list of courses that now have retroactive fees of $115.

Student council members were informed by the undergraduate education council that these oversights total more than $200,000.

Initially, there were holds placed on all students accounts, which prevented students from seeing final grades, accessing transcripts, etc. however, the college revoked these holds the day after the email was sent out, in response to students’ concerns about the holds delaying their ability to enter the workforce. The holds are currently set to resume on June 1st - if a student is unable to pay the fees by June 1st, their holds will be re-instated.

Students were told that the costs are attributable to resources and consumable supplies used in the classes or labs. However, the fourth year (441) class syllabus states that the resource they are retroactively charging $115 for, is at no cost to students. Many students expressed frustration and confusion about this breach of contract; as students, we are expected to uphold the expectations listed in our syllabus, however the college is now altering statements and not upholding their end of expectations listed in the syllabus. The college since apologized in an email and said that our syllabus was, quote, “misleading”.

Third-year nursing students have also shared that they are unsure why the college is charging them extra fees for their labs, as they were not able to complete the last 3-4 simulation labs due to covid-19. Students question why the college is asking them for more money to put towards consumable materials, when students haven’t been able to complete a significant portion of their labs, therefore not actually using the material. The college also discussed that it would be too time-consuming to reimburse students for the missed labs - yet are still charging them retroactive fees.

Students should not be asked to absorb the college’s administrative errors. The college should revoke the current retroactive fees and refrain from implementing retroactive fees in the future. Students ask that the college lives up to their mission statement regarding transparency. Students deserve an explanation regarding what the technical error actually was in a clear breakdown.