Allow Students to Opt-out of Facility Fees and Be Refunded

Allow Students to Opt-out of Facility Fees and Be Refunded

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Alexandra Briggs started this petition to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and

Many Virginia Tech students are experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although Virginia Tech allocated emergency relief funds through the CARES Act and through an emergency student relief fund, many students are still struggling to pay their other costs of living and university fees. A large portion of tuition that students are required to pay goes to fees for the student's use of facilities. Due to COVID-19 precautions to socially distance and quarantine, students ought to be able to opt-out of some of these fees and be refunded. Details on which fees explained below.

I started this petition because I will lose my job on 4 September by 5pm if I cannot pay my employer, Virginia Tech. I will be kicked out and lose my annual income of $22,662 as a Graduate Student Assistant/Instructor because I owe Virginia Tech $2,156. I applied for financial relief with no result, and I am not eligible for a payment plan. I am 1 year away from finishing my dissertation. I know that I am not the only one experiencing a threat to continuing my education due to financial hardship.

This petition is meant to change Virginia Tech's tuition policy for the Fall 2020 semester so that students may 'opt-out' of the Athletic Fee, the Transportation Services Fee, and the Recreational Sports Fee, and be refunded these funds. On average part-time students would save $305.14 if they were able to opt out of these fees and full-time students would save $422.50.

As a precaution to the COVID-19 outbreak, students are encouraged to socially distance themselves from others, including enacting a capacity to the number of students that may be present in facilities. To be safe, many students are avoiding these facilities all together.

Students would get a great deal of financial relief if the university would allow them to 'opt-out' of paying for certain fees. 

The university could revoke the student's access to those facilities if they opt-out and maintain the access for the students that do not opt-out and pay the fees. This change could make the difference between a student having a drop-out or continue their education. 

While students are experiencing the stress of this financial hardship and threats to their continuing education, President Tim Sands recently received a raise and now has a salary of more than $775,000. Where is the justice? Where is the compassion?

In addition to signing this petition, you may also share your experience about the financial hardship you are facing as a VT student during the COVID-19 pandemic by completing this survey.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!