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Guest Letter: Why I started the petition to refund students

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Amy Bailey | The Daily Wildcat

The University of Arizona has sent out several statements about coronavirus and how the administration plans to prevent a widespread outbreak on campus.

My name is Sterling Stokes and I am a junior at the University of Arizona. I am pursuing a dual degree with public management and policy and psychology, with a minor in philosophy. Ethics is a field that has always been of interest to me, and when I noticed an ethical dilemma right at my own university, I chose to take action. 

I started this petition in hopes of getting all students their monies back – monies that were either paid for directly by students, by their family members or with student loans. Considering that students have moved out of campus housing facilities and will no longer need a meal plan or parking pass for the remainder of this semester, the university offered two rebate options for us, both of which are displeasing to many. 

Both rebate options do not provide full refunds to students for the remainder of this semester (rebate options apply to housing, meal plans and parking passes). I have heard concerns from multiple students who are not only disappointed in the university’s decision to withhold our money, but who are also confused as to why this was the final decision made by our university which we love so much. Our university is profiting off of the struggles that we students are currently experiencing, which is both shocking and unfair. 

As a public management and policy major, it is increasingly important for large-scale institutions such as UA to not only promote equity and integrity, but to follow these virtues themselves. Ethics should not differ depending upon the circumstance and/or situation, and ethics should be a component of policy. They should withstand the tests of time and be continually practiced independent of profit. The university policies are fair and egalitarian, which is part of the reason why it was so shocking to me that we were offered two unfair options. 

I completely understand that the coronavirus outbreak was unforeseen, with extreme and immediate impacts on the university’s current economic situation. However, I do not believe this is reason enough to take financial advantage of students who have already paid for services they will no longer receive considering the rest of this semester will be taught online. I hope that President Robert C. Robbins and the rest of the university faculty will make the right decision and give refunds as outlined in the petition.

Here is a link to the petition: http://chng.it/wT7NbX7mZr.



Opinion pieces, guest commentary, letters and online comments do not represent the opinion of the Daily Wildcat.   



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