A Texas A&M-Corpus Christi student has started a petition he hopes will lead school leaders to do away with fees on on-campus services that aren't available to students right now because of COVID-19 precautions.
“Since we’re not able to utilize any of those services, we wanted to have those fees waived for as long as we’re online,” the student, who didn't want to be identified, said.
The university moved all classes online at the beginning of the pandemic. But students are still required to pay fees for on-campus services such as athletics, the student center, and others that are shut down currently.
The petition to waive those fees on www.change.org had collected more than 1,800 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.
“By signing our petition, we can get our message across to the university and let them hear our voice,” the petitioner said.
School leaders are listening. They're keeping the fees in place, but they're offering a discount.
“What we have planned to do as an institution is to give (students) $100 credit onto their fee bill which will allow them, for the summer, to get some relief,” Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Vice President for Enrollment Management Andy Benoit said.
According to the univerity's website, an average student will be charged more than $1,000 in fees for Summer 2020. That's why the petitioner isn't satisfied with the school's offered discount.
“That’s really just not enough,” he said.
Benoit said the university is offering other forms of financial assistance to students that they'll pay for using part of a $10.1 million aid package through the federal government's CARE Act.
Since the pandemic began, Benoit said more than 2,200 students have applied for that assistance to help them pay for things such as rent and bills.
“We have received requests for millions of dollars of assistance from our students,” Benoit said.
As for the petition, the student behind it hopes that it at least leads to a discussion with school leaders.
“We would like to have some type of meeting with the administration or something like that just to get them to understand where we’re coming from," the petitioner said.