North Texas Daily

UNT not offering refunds for students on housing and parking is a lousy decision

UNT not offering refunds for students on housing and parking is a lousy decision

UNT not offering refunds for students on housing and parking is a lousy decision
March 19
09:00 2020

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

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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5 Comments

  1. Mad parent
    Mad parent March 20, 05:47

    As a parent of a freshman student and one who recently lost her job due to the COVID-19 restrictions I feel that this decision taken by the UNT administration is unfair. We need this money right now to cover basic expenses since students are living at home now. If no refunds my student will be force to go back to campus in order to consume food there and having to expose his health.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Dree
    Dree March 20, 07:26

    My daughter’s attend this college and I called yesterday with my concerns on receiving housing refunds or some sort of prorate on the cost for this last month of April and the housing department told me there’s nothing being offered to accommodate the parents that have spent a great amount of many for their children to attend the school. My daughter’s are freshmen which meant they’re forced to stay on campus. I sacrificed a lot in order to come up with their housing funding. I don’t think it’s fair that UNT has decided to take such action. Other colleges are prorating costs and all colleges should be on one accord especially under these unfortunate circumstances..

    Reply to this comment
  3. Amy
    Amy March 20, 12:49

    I agree with giving a refund. My daughter is forced to live on campus the first year and now she is being discouraged to do so and has moved back home. She is not using the meal plan she had to purchase either. Imagine the amount of money the university is saving in food alone. Very few are eating at the dining halls.

    Additionally we paid a lot of money to have in person classes with the professors. Again she is not allowed that in person instruction. I understand why they are doing this and agree with it but give refunds for the resources they are no longer using!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Pat
    Pat March 20, 16:14

    I agree with your assessment on all counts. Students, for the most part, and their parents need all the help they can get.
    Come on UNT share the wealth.
    I get requests for contributions regularly. I don’t think I’ll be fulfilling those requests.

    Patsy Driver Hutton
    M.Ed. 1964
    MBA 1978

    Reply to this comment
  5. Ray
    Ray July 20, 10:28

    My daughter was a Freshman and required to stay in the dorms and use a meal plan. She received a pro-rated refund when in March she was encouraged by the university to move home and take online classes. The State of Texas imposed a shelter in place order. Now I find out that the meal plan will not be refunded to students. Senior executive staff for the university has decided to move a credit into the fall semester, The problem is that my daughter will only have off campus classes for the Fall. The university refuses to provide a refund for the 783.00 dollars due to her. All other State universities have provided refunds of meal plans to their students. All except UNT.

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