Petition circulates: Gaps within NMU’s pandemic refund response

Petition+circulates%3A+Gaps+within+NMUs+pandemic+refund+response

Alexandra Bayliss

I, and the others that have signed this petition (now over 1,500 signatures), believe that NMU needs to reconsider the decisions they have made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that they need to step up and address these requests. Most of the information that I have included can be found via the links below.

  1. NMU must refund at least half of all fees to all students.

We have the student recreation pass, which is $85 per semester. But then there are these program specific fees, which are very different per major and class. These can be found through nmu.edu/tuition. The University and TLC fees are laptop fees, but there is also the activity fee which is $35.72.

I did talk to a few students that I know are science majors and there are fees for lab equipment, usually $100 per lab class. Also, each art studio class has separate fees to get materials necessary, which are now not being used. These are not charged through the e-bill, but are usually paid separately through the Art and Design office. Depending on what equipment can be used at home, those that we cannot use should be returned to the professor and be refunded.
We should at least receive half of each fee back. We are not able to use facilities that we have paid for, and in many students’ cases, we cannot use labs, darkrooms, editing labs, lighting studios and other equipment that is necessary to our success. See nmu.edu/tuition.

2. Each student living on campus (be it in an apartment or dorm) moving off-campus by April 3, should receive at least $1,000.


The shared bedroom suite (which is the cheapest residential or dorm option) for one semester would be $2,797. If I divided that in half, it would be $1,398.50. Now even if I divided that in half again, it would be $699.25.
The Silver Meal Plan, for one semester, would be $2,450. If I divided that in half again, it would be $1,225. With that in half again, it would be $612.50.
The Comprehensive Fee is $140 for a semester. Half a semester would be $70 and a quarter of a semester would be $35. These added together would be $1,346.75. NMU should at least give these students $1,000 back, at a bare minimum.

I calculated this to a quarter of a semester, as we moved classes online on March 16. Classes and finals officially end May 2, which means that April 3 to May 2 is one month, a quarter of a semester. This is where the bare minimum comes into play. A lot of people have already left, which means that all of these students should not be receiving the bare minimum. See nmu.edu/housing/residence-hall-rates.

The on-campus apartment students are not getting any money back even if they leave campus. This is ridiculous. The apartments are very similar to dormitories, and students pay a similar amount for their apartments. Some also have meal plans. It should be treated the same as leaving the dorms by April 3rd. See nmu.edu/housing/singlestudentrates.

3. Residents that stay on campus (in dorms and apartments) due to jobs and personal reasons should receive money back.


These residents do not really have a choice about staying here or not. They need the money, but are not able to leave their jobs for personal reasons. These students still deserve to get a portion back, including fees.

4. Students should receive the choice of either refunding meal plans or putting money toward next semester’s e-bill for commuter and on-campus apartment students.

We should be able to have the choice to refund our meal plans or move them over to next semester, depending on how many meals we have left. A lot of us got these meal plans because financial aid can cover or cut at least some of the costs, instead of having to buy food on our own.

Additionally, we were not able to finish using our meal plans because they started limiting the dining hall to only residential students.
Overall, NMU students are not getting the financial help from the university that they should be receiving back in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you agree, please sign the petition by visiting http://chng.it/jj8gpnNrPS.

Alexandra Bayliss is a junior, art and design major.