Article Originally Published by North Texas Daily on North Texas Daily
Throughout the many disruptions regarding novel coronavirus, UNT has suspended all in-person classes and is encouraging students to stay off campus even as residence and dining halls remain open. Along with these particular provisions, UNT Housing is not offering refunds for students for residence halls and UNT Transportation will not be offering refunds for parking passes either, as reported by the North Texas Daily.
These decisions made by UNT are quite frankly lousy in the worst regard and detrimental to all students who live on campus, park on campus and frequent campus, as most students do.
As many students know, living in a residence hall on campus is an expensive venture and it does not help either that all freshmen are required to live on-campus their first year. While living in a residence hall past your freshmen year is a choice, it is a choice many students make to embrace the ease and convenience of navigating further semesters. Not offering refunds for those who either do choose to live on campus or for the ones who are required by the university to live on-campus, while still encouraging these same students to avoid campus is quite a baffling decision from an economic and sensical viewpoint.
Many students do not have the luxury to just get up and leave to go live somewhere else during this awkward transition period to all-online classes. The residence halls serve as an escape for most students in the best circumstance and a safe shelter in the worst circumstances. Furthermore, encouraging students to not frequent campus while some students only reasonable, safe shelter is on campus is a strange idea that is severely rooted in privilege. Not all students have another, easily-accessible living arrangement.
Purchasing a parking pass is an expensive venture, the only way to park on campus and, depending on which you do decide to purchase, not a guarantee that convenient parking will be found. Students can spend up to an hour hoping to find a spot after spending hundreds of dollars to get a pass.
If students are vacating residence halls and there are no in-person classes going on, these parking lots and many parking spaces are empty and not in use for the first time in probably forever, refunds for purchased parking passes seems to be the only clear and logical solution to all of this.
Since there is such immense encouragement to avoid campus during this pandemic, UNT should do the right thing and refund residence hall costs and parking pass costs. While classes are being transferred to online classes and this particular encouragement continues, UNT would be in the right to refund these (very expensive) costs to help students either find somewhere else to live during the time being or completely allow students to remain in the residence halls with stronger precautions set on protection from the coronavirus.
Social distancing is the name of the game to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and students would be more likely to practice safe self-quarantining if they were given refunds for a dorm they aren’t actively living in and can instead find an alternative.
UNT has frequently demonstrated a lack of empathy this semester and semesters past, so now is the right time to make amends and refund student money for housing and parking to help alleviate some of the stress during these very crazy, very stressful times.
Featured Illustration: Jae-Eun Suh
Source: North Texas Daily