Petition to TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr.
Relieving Tuition Cost for TCU Students and Families
Dear TCU community, As COVID-19 continues to impact students and their families, I am starting this petition in the hope that I can gather TCU community's attention to our tuition matter. My goal is to reach 1,000 signatures before sending this petition to appropriate divisions and the Student Government Association at TCU. During the current pandemic, TCU has taken necessary actions to cope with its effect. However, the Spring semester learning experience was far from many would have expected. Unfortunately, this condition will likely remain and continue to Fall 2020 semester. Thus, I am urging TCU to relieve the cost of attending by considering any immediate solutions such as refunds, discounts, or grants base on these rationales: 1. After the Spring 2020 semester break in March, students started to transfer to online classes. This incident creates many barriers for the student to engage in class.a. Several students have to PN/C or drop their classes because they cannot adapt to the sudden change. Learning from home was distracted and stressful. b. Many students were stuck wherever they are after the break and could not return to the housing they paid for. c. International students were encouraged to leave the U.S., which disrupted their learning routine and created extra cost in international travel. d. The access to facilities, amenities, and services on campus was limited or completely close. 2. For the upcoming Fall 2020 semester, although the student is given the option to take classes online or on campus, they are still facing a drastic change in their learning experience at TCU.a. Students’ comfort level to come back to campus are different. An online class does not have the same value as an in-person class but the student is paying the same price. b. International students are facing a higher chance of having to study online because of laws imposing on international travel. For the student who lives in the states, taking the risk to flight back to Fort Worth exposes themselves to come in contact with the virus transmitter. c. Campus services like counseling will be conducted mostly on Zoom. Other facilities may reopen if operating within a certain capacity. However, the student who could not return to campus cannot utilize these resources to the fullest, in which they have paid for. 3. The current pandemic creates so many uncertainties and burdens to the futures of upcoming graduates and current students. Many students who recently graduated are struggling to find jobs. It is heartbreaking to see my peers deliver the news about their internships being canceled while they are figuring out ways to pay off their student loans. 4.The student families are facing financial hardships as a result of the pandemic. Many people have to endure the stress of working from home or losing their jobs. Having to pay for the student's tuition is a financial and mental burden for families during this time. Although students everywhere are battling for free tuition with lawsuits, I have no intention of using the current situation to achieve such an outcome. I have trust in TCU quality and believe everyone should receive reasonable compensation/treatment. The TCU community as a whole has been exceptionally understanding, helping, and uplifting. I hope that during this time of uncertainty, TCU will continue to support its students, listen to their voices, and show ethical leadership, which is one of the school's Mission. Sincerely, Nina Vu
Petition to TCNJ, The College of New Jersey
TCNJ COVID-19 Implementations
Hello All, My name is Seva Galant. I am a sophomore Health and Exercise Science major here at The College of New Jersey. It is beyond obvious that COVID-19 has been and continues to affect the entire community but I will share some of the difficulties some of us in the community are facing in light of COVID-19. Let’s start by considering those of us who are not economically stable enough for social distance. Students were sent home to households where: An extra mouth can’t afford to be fed because students relied on meal plans and the dining hall at schools.They have to work in order to pay rent or help pay a mortgage because they unexpectedly lost their dorm room.You have to take care of a sick family member and have to go to work to pay for their medicine.You have to self-isolate because you came in contact with someone sick and can't risk getting anyone else sick, including those at work.How can students worry about classwork if basic necessities like food, water, and shelter are no longer afforded to you because campus living is no longer a possibility? Given the list above it’s evident that students will/are having a hard time focusing and worrying about classwork. These adjustments are difficult enough on their own and with the added stress of full-time school work many of us are drowning. Those are only some of the problems facing the community. Now I will share the difficulties my friends and I are dealing starting with: Increased workload.Canceled practicum/clinicals.Delayed graduation due to the inability to do those same practicums/clinicals or due to increased class difficulty.Canceled labs.Students are facing housing insecurity or even abusive or unsafe living conditions as a result of losing access to on-campus housing. This is not a normal or accommodating time for even students that are safe at home: the pandemic is having a widespread, devastating impact on our community's mental health, especially for those with anxiety, depression, PTSD, a history of trauma, and more: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/trauma-and-hope/202003/coronavirus-the-psychological-trauma-and-ptsd-event Some are already dealing with devastating loss and tragedy. Many families are also struggling financially in this uniquely difficult situation. Some TCNJ students are devoting their time and energy to volunteer efforts, supporting affected family members, creating PPE for first responders, and more, and we should be doing our part in supporting them. Despite these extenuating circumstances, the transition to online instruction has led some professors to even increase the course workload – for instance, creating additional assignments to replace an in-person activity, or relying on students to self-instruct via video lectures and online quizzes. It is not enough to expect the TCNJ faculty to individually handle our concerns as they best see fit, especially when the struggle is so widespread throughout the campus community – with a disproportionately severe impact on our most disenfranchised students. The option for pass/fail classes is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough. Thus, we have made this petition in the hopes that TCNJ will change the grading scale for its students for the remainder of the semester. Here is an idea to consider, but any further assistance from TCNJ administration would be of tremendous help: A = 80-100 B = 70-79 C = 60-69 D = 50-59 F = below 50 Another consideration is to follow the example of Rutgers University’s professors and guarantee that students' grades will not drop below what they had when online classes started. It must be understood that this is not a Rutgers policy but it is what some professors are doing to aid their students in this crisis. We please ask you to recognize that the pass/fail option is not viable for those pursuing further education, as GPAs are weighted heavily in the decision making process for graduate programs, medical and law school, and other opportunities that members of our community are actively pursuing. With certain classes being dropped or made pass/fail, GPA weighting becomes much more of a gamble, and grad school hopes diminish tremendously. However, the possibility of failure must be maintained and I believe that should be at the discretion of the professor teaching the course using a case by case basis. We implore you, greater TCNJ community, and administrators, please do not fall into our typical demeanor of following other more established institutions. COVID-19 does not wait for anyone. In times like these, it is most important to determine what is best for you and your community. TCNJ should not, and cannot, wait for another institution to show us how to operate. Our students are important and we should be making every single effort to help them succeed.
Petition to University of New Hampshire
UNH Tuition Reduction for Classes Online
Time and time again UNH has shown they care more about the money they are bringing in rather than our wellbeing. I think many of us can agree this is their goal with reopening. However, now with the plans in place they are now making some of our classes online yet there is absolutely no tuition reduction for us. I took a summer class this summer and I know for a 4 credit class it costs $2,000. Yet, In-State tuition is $18,500 and Out of State is $33,800 (roughly). So clearly there’s a huge difference between UNH’s cost of in person and online classes. This semester is not ideal for any of us but they can at least help the student body out by offering a tuition reduction. Many of us and our parents have lost their jobs or have reduced hours now. Why are we allowing UNH to charge us the same price for online classes? Make college more economically feasible for us during these hard times.
Petition to Mercy College, Tim Hall, Latimer Williams, Miriam Ford, Deborah Hunt, Susan Moscou, Mercy College Board of Trustees
Mercy College: Eliminate Tuition & Fee Increases for Nursing Students
Mercy College has decided to increase the fees that they charge nursing students effective Fall 2020. We currently have a weekly meeting with nursing administration and students consistently express that this increase is a significant financial burden. They also detail their current trials as a result of changes in their income or frustrations with virtual learning and/or the out of pocket expenses that are associated with it. Administration has made it clear that there will be no accommodation for students who are unable to pay for these additional fees. These fees are said to cover items that we do not have access to. We are paying for software that we don’t use. We are paying for labs that have been inaccessible for months. Our class size has grown and our resources are limited in comparison to the amount of students that share them. We are missing out on opportunities to perform hands on skills that we need to know as nurses. This pandemic is stressful and it has adversely impacted so many of us. Administration has heard countless stories of the struggles that the students are experiencing. As students, we are asking that they take the current state of the world into account and not increase our tuition/fees at a time where we are financially and mentally overwhelmed.
Petition to President Robert Barchi, Board of Governors
We Are Not Disposable: Don’t Let Rutgers Purge Dedicated Teachers!
Monday, April 13, 2020 To President Barchi, the Board of Governors, and the broader Rutgers community: We Are Not Disposable: Don’t Let Rutgers Purge Dedicated Teachers On April 2nd, in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, Rutgers announced a hiring freeze for all employees, including its adjunct faculty (called Part-Time Lecturers or PTLs). As most PTL contracts must be renewed each semester, this “hiring freeze” could effectively amount to termination for many of Rutgers’ most valuable educators. Since April 2nd, top administrators have instructed some university deans to reduce PTL positions by as much as 25 percent, and to also make cuts to curricula. Administrators made these decisions unilaterally, without consulting the labor unions that represent the more than 20,000 workers essential to fulfilling Rutgers’ core mission. Why are administrators endangering the education of our students and threatening to harm the most vulnerable members of its faculty? In response to this outrageous and unfair policy, we, the undersigned, demand the following of the administration: Rescind the April 2nd policy announcing a PTL hiring freeze; Rescind any instructions to Deans to cut PTL hires by 20% or more. Further, in light of the nature of the COVID-19 health emergency and its implications for the lives and well-being of Rutgers most vulnerable teachers: Immediately provide access to Rutgers health clinics for PTLs, and all other uninsured part-time employees at Rutgers, free of any charge; Provide compensation in the amount of $1,250 per course to PTLs who put in extra hours to rapidly transition to remote instruction; Cancel spring course evaluations because it is unfair to evaluate PTLs for teaching for courses that were transitioned to distance learning; Advance all qualified PTLs applying for promotion this semester (before June 1st), without “classroom” observation; and Recognize and empower a Rutgers Community COVID-19 Task Force in which all stakeholders—representatives of faculty and other Rutgers’ unions, student representatives, and community leaders—are equal partners in crisis response. Context: Rutgers employs roughly 3,000 PTLs statewide, who teach thousands of courses, and tens of thousands of students, every semester. Most PTLs make less than $5,500 per course with no benefits, and have worked overtime this spring without additional compensation for moving courses online. Cutting the number of PTLs not only weakens Rutgers’ primary institutional mission—to educate students—it also makes little financial sense. Reducing PTL courses by 20-25% will net less that $6 million in savings, perhaps far less. If Rutgers needs to save money, why not do what Stanford and other universities have done, and begin with temporary pay cuts for top administrators who have the highest salaries? For example, athletic coaches some of whom earn well over a million dollars, continue to draw salaries even while Rutgers sports are suspended. Additionally, there are 247 administrators at Rutgers who make more than $250,000 a year. Temporarily capping salaries at $250,000 could save $29 million. Further, there is no evidence that the university in fact faces any budgetary emergency. We know that Rutgers retains a “rainy day fund” totaling as much as $805 million, and that it will receive federal stimulus aid (around $55 million). Why not use these funds to ensure the quality education and protect some of the university’s most experienced teachers? Why look to layoff the lowest-paid faculty members, especially when alternative employment is likely to be severely limited due to hiring freezes at other universities? The COVID-19 pandemic is laying bare the inequities in our workforce and our workplaces. Rutgers PTLs stand together, and in solidarity with all members of the Rutgers community and beyond, whose jobs and well-being are threatened by this crisis, to say: “We are not disposable.” Together, we have the power to stop the university’s thoughtless efforts to manage this crisis on the backs of its most vulnerable employees. We, the undersigned, call upon the administration to do the right thing and respond quickly to this petition and its demands. The PTLFC-AAUP-AFT Executive Board Ann Alter Lauren Barbato Frank Bridges Roseli Golfetti Sheryl Goski Amy Higer David Letwin Paul More Heather Pierce Bryan Sacks Dan Sidorick Karen Thompson Alex Walter David Winters Deonca Williams
Petition to Berklee College of Music, Roger Brown
Lower Berklee College of Music’s 2020 Fall Tuition
As the fall 2020 semester approaches, COVID-19 has taken a toll on schools everywhere - including Berklee. Because of this, we are moving forward with a hybrid fall semester with the option of being completely remote or in a hybrid setting on campus. Tuition is set at the same price, which is unfair for the students and families who are exclusively remote or even hybrid, we are simply not getting the same quality of education and experience that full tuition offers. We aren’t able to use the facilities and all of the equipment that was once available at our fingertips. With these tough times, there are also many students who are financially struggling during the days of an on going pandemic and movements exposing the systemic racism in America. The fact of the matter is that Berklee switching to remote teaching means that the students are not receiving the same level of education. There should be a discounted price where we only pay for what we are getting.
Petition to President Robert S. Nelsen, Joy Stewart-James, Ed Mills
Re-Open Optometry with Low Cost Eye Exams / Glasses + Reinstate Optometrist at Sac State
In the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Online Distance Learning, Sacramento State University has closed down the Optometry Department and laid off the Optometrist. They offered low cost eye exams ($20 exam) and glasses (average $79) / contact lenses for ALL Sacramento State students. Online Distance Learning due to COVID-19 has significantly impacted all students, and increased the need for eye exams, and access to glasses and contact lenses. There is an increase of: Blurry Vision Eye Strain Headaches Computer Vision Syndrome Dry Eyes Other medical eye conditions that were treated included: Foreign object removal Eye Infections Eye Trauma Blinding Diseases like Diabetes, Glaucoma, and High blood pressure. In less than 3 years, over 5000 students were examined and treated, most of whom are People of Color, First Generation, and economically disadvantaged students without insurance. Governor Newsom has declared Optometry to be an "Essential Service" during COVID-19, but Sacramento State has not allowed the Optometry Department to be Open, and instead, Closed it down. Research studies show that convenient access to low cost vision services is directly linked to Learning Success and Bridging the Achievement Gap amongst economically disadvantaged students. Vision is a health strategic priority to help close the achievement gap Enrollment is at an All-Time High. Sacramento State spent Millions of dollars $$$$ to EXPAND The WELL building (Student Health and Counseling building), but are now providing LESS services, while students continue to pay HEALTH FEES. CSU is currently in a class action lawsuit for reducing services to the students but not reducing tuition fees. CSU and UC systems face lawsuit for nonrefunded students fees Sacramento State is sabotaging the tools needed to achieve Learning Success, Bridge the Achievement Gap, and improve the Graduation rate. Sign this petition to Reverse This Injustice! Let your voice be heard that we demand that Sacramento State Open up the Optometry Department, so that All Students, including People of Color, First Generation Students, and economically disadvantaged students get Equal Access to excellent vision and Learning Success!
Petition to University of Strathclyde
Partially refund (at least 40%) 20/21 tuition fees due to COVID-19 circumstances.
As an international student, it’s unfair to pay £15,300 for an academic year that has been spent taught online. It’s especially unfair when the reason for those circumstances is out of our hands, most economies have crashed since the start of COVID-19 which makes it harder for families, parents and students to pay these tuition fees’, keeping in mind many people have lost their jobs which makes it harder to provide such a large sum of money only to be taught everything online.