Ohio State students demand refunds after college kicks them out of dorms
- Students at Ohio State University demand refunds as online classes and off-campus housing are enforced.
- A petition for reimbursement has begun, with over 17,000 signatures.
At Ohio State University, thousands of students are calling for a refund as the university decided to close face-to-face classes recently in light of the concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
On Thursday, the university administration announced that beginning on March 23rd, all classes would transition to online classes through the remainder of the spring semester. Additionally, students living on campus are required to find alternative housing, whether that be off-campus housing or going back home to be with their families.
However, given that students semesterly room and board costs are for the entire semester and they're being asked to move out about halfway into the semester Ohio State students are now demanding a refund.
On Thursday night, a self-identified student named John Kacherski began a petition on Change.org for the school to refund students the cost of room and board from now until the end of the semester. The petition reads:
On March 12th, 2020, The Ohio State University announced that, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person lectures would be suspended indefinitely through the remainder of the spring 2020 term. Moreover, the university announced that it would be "facilitating a scheduled and orderly process for students to move out of the residence halls."
While the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus is ultimately out of the control of the university, it is completely unreasonable for the student body to pay the full cost of tuition and, if applicable, housing.
Because the last date of in-person instruction was March 6th, 2020, and because many students will be completing programs online that are not officially offered as online programs by the University, the students of The Ohio State University hereby request the University to refund all students the difference between the costs of in-person instruction and online instruction. Furthermore, because students residing in University dormitories will not be permitted to reside in those dormitories for the entirety of the semester, the students of The Ohio State University hereby request the University to refund those students who paid the full cost of university housing for the spring 2020 term.
It is ultimately not the responsibility of Ohio State students, many of which are currently full-time students and thus are considered low-income earners, to bear the cost of the impact of the coronavirus on academic resources. The Ohio State University reported a 2018 yearly revenue of over $7 billion and is thus better equipped to bear the financial burden than us students.
As of publication, the petition has more than 17,000 signatures.
Other students commented on the petition, reinstating their approval of the refunds.
One person commented on the petition, saying, “I feel that at the minimum, housing and dining plans should be refunded.”
Another person wrote, “I come from a financially struggling family who go through a lot to aid me and my educational needs. If I am being stripped of my resources, then I need my money reimbursed. Thank you.”
Campus Reform reached out to Kacherski, the creator of the petition, but did not hear back in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @carolinefshaver