CEDAR CITY, Utah — When the pandemic forced Southern Utah University to shut down and shift to online classes, many students decided to leave campus.
Now many say they got stuck paying rent for an empty apartment.
SUU student, Jaxton Maez,said he has been severely impacted by the crisis, like so many other college students.
Many of his colleagues are in the same boat, out of jobs and buried in debt.
That’s why he has started an online petition pushing for change.
When fall semester starts at SUU, Maez will have an uphill battle paying rent.
“For a shared room this semester, it’s looking like around $1100 and that’s our apartment which is one of the lower prices,”Maez said. “On top of that, a pandemic and economic crisis, it’s just almost too stressful to focus on school.”
The math and philosophy major has started an online petition called, “cancel rent.”
With the upcoming semester cut two weeks shorter, Maez said it’s not fair landlords are demanding payment.
“We’re struggling here. We’ve got more to pay for. We have less saved than in previous generations,” Maez said. “It’s ridiculous that we should have our rent raised.”
The petition also calls for a stop on all evictions and encourages tenants to unionize, to earn rights during and beyond the pandemic.
Maez will deliver the petition to SUU administrators to see if they can offer any help.