Grad students looking to get a fee refund meet obstacles
For University of Arizona graduate students who don’t plan on attending NCAA athletics events, but have automatically been charged the $25 athletics fee for this semester, the deadline for getting a refund is Sept. 21.
Every semester, all students are charged the athletics fee, which is $50 per semester for undergraduates and $25 per semester for graduate students, but graduate students have the option to opt out on a per-semester basis. The deadline for getting spring semester’s charge refunded is Feb. 15.
Paying the fee grants access to baseball, women’s basketball, beach volleyball, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and volleyball games. Admission to hockey games, as a club sport, is not included with the fee. To attend football and men’s basketball, incoming students will still need to purchase a ZonaZoo membership.
Hannah Rosenberg Jones, a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology, said she had to work hard for her refund in a process she found to be less than transparent.
“I am a proud Wildcat but I don't support a mandatory fee to pay for athletics as students are facing an ever increasing cost of attending university,” Rosenberg Jones said via email. “If there as to be a mandatory fee, the process to obtain a fee refund should be much more transparent.”
According to Rosenberg Jones, there is no direct link to get the refund. Instead, she spent several weeks emailing back and forth before she was able to get her refund. In response, Rosenberg Jones decided to create an informational sheet to help her fellow graduate students get their refunds, too.
“I did my best to spell out the process for my classmates who are too busy to attend games during the academic year,” Rosenberg Jones said.
In the document, on Rosenberg Jones’s Twitter, she advises calling 520-621-2287 and selecting that you’re a current student. Then, she said to have your student ID number ready. Tell the staff member on the phone that you would like them to add to your account the option to opt out of the athletics fee.
After that, Rosenberg Jones said to visit this link. Students may need to create an account if they’ve never purchased tickets in the past. Once on the account, Jones said to go the “Buy Tickets” section and scroll to the bottom, where there will be an option marked “2018-2019 UA Graduate Student Athletics Fee Refund Request.”
Add that option to your cart and then check out. There will be a balance due of $0.00, and then a confirmation will be sent to your email.
“Hardworking undergraduate and graduate students deserve to have EASY access to the fee refunds they are entitled to. The athletics department should follow the lead of Campus Rec, by having a link available which simply requires a few clicks to be refunded their fee,” Rosenberg Jones said via email.
If a system like Campus Rec’s isn’t possible, Rosenberg Jones said she would still like to see an more streamlined approach, and she would like to see the same option for a refund extended to undergraduate students.
“Alternatively, I'd like the opt out option to always be present on our athletics ticketing account so that we don't have to call each semester to have it added,” Rosenberg Jones said via email.