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USU students petition for refund of school fees

Posted at 8:39 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 22:39:54-04

LOGAN, Utah — Students at Utah State University have created a petition, asking school administrators to refund some of their student fees.

Travis Forsyth, as a Junior at USU, said he pays about $500 per semester for student fees.

Fees are directed towards paying for buildings, athletics, health services, etc.

In a list of “fee grievances,’ Forsyth is declaring to Utah State administrators that students want their money back.

In total, Forsyth said the petition requests a $164 refund from the university after COVID-19 forced administrators to shut the campus down in March.

“It’s kind of like buying a product from a store or paying a subscription, and not getting what you paid for,” said Forsyth. “That institution should be responsible to refund the money or to make it right.”

James Morales, the Vice President of Student Affairs at USU, said they refunded parking permits, and the remaining balance of meal plans, and rent for on-campus housing.

“Our psychologists, in order to work on Telehealth from home, they had to have dedicated laptops to do that,” said Morales. “That’s a purchase we had to make.”

Morales said a lot of the student’s fees have been reallocated to help the university adjust to the pandemic.

“What can we do in these circumstances to provide the best possible programming, activities, events, services so the student’s fees were being optimized,” said Morales.

Although students have left campus, Morales said they still need to pay those who are teaching online and providing Telehealth sessions — empty campus halls do not mean administrators are not working.

“Our heart really goes out to all of our students who are struggling through the challenges, financial and otherwise as a result of the COVID19 pandemic,” said Morales.

Forsyth plans on meeting with Morales to present his petition, which as more than 1,500 signatures.

“We want to thank the university for the things that they have done,” said Forsyth. “It’s not just about getting the money back, it’s about the university upholding their integrity.”

USU has created a COVID-19 task force to handle all student concerns during the pandemic, including updates on summer and fall semester guidelines.