Number of students demanding refunds climbs amid coronavirus closures
- Due to coronavirus concerns, students at Arizona State University have been moved to all online classes through the end of the school year.
- Students say that should come with substantial refunds.
Arizona State University has confirmed that it has canceled in-person classes through the remainder of the semester, moving entirely online, as more than 120 colleges across the country have now done. However, most ASU services still remain available for the time being.
In his latest update, ASU President Michael Crow published a series of guidelines regarding the COVID-19, or coronavirus, outbreak for university activity. Among the new guidelines was the announcement that online instruction will be extended through the remainder of the spring semester, a change from the initial two week trial period.
In addition, the university has also canceled, “...all public events on campus that are not directly related to the teaching and research mission of the university.”
In response to these new developments, some students expressed concern about housing and meal plan refunds for students who are choosing to vacate their dorms.
where’s my refund— sahara (@SaharaSajjadii) March 16, 2020
Hope ASU intends on refunding students. Especially those who paid for housing and meal plans, not to mention online school is MUCH cheaper than in-person.— eldritch horror (@yaboijasmine) March 16, 2020
Jasmine Joo, a first-generation student studying psychology, told Campus Reform that she is concerned about the financial impacts of Crow’s decision. Though ASU has not made the official decision to evict students from their housing, she said, “students who are out of state have to fly back, pack their stuff, ship it, and then fly back, and that in itself is very expensive.”
Global studies student Sahara Sajjadi told Campus Reform that moving to online courses “erases the need for us to be on campus,” and therefore students “should get refunded for student fees, housing, and dining fees.”
“It’s ethically wrong and unfair to students,” Sajjadi added.
Sajjadi also noted that the refund would be especially useful given economic and financial uncertainty.
“We could all use the extra money that we gave to the University to help us in the midst of this pandemic. It’s irresponsible on behalf of the school to not even offer a partial refund,” she said.
Supply chain management student Selam O’Brien says that “...depending on how things look with Coronavirus, ASU should shut down completely like the others such as Davidson, Harvard, etc. It is not an efficient use of resources and money to have services open when the majority of students are not on campus.”
Sahara and Jasmine aren’t alone in their petition for ASU to offer students a refund. Since President Crow’s announcement of the extension of online instruction, more than 1,000 students have signed a Change.org petition calling on the university to offer a refund.
According to the petition, “...most students are not going back to campus, and we should be refunded for housing and food costs. Many other colleges have refunded their students, and Michael Crow should do the same!”
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