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Partial Refunds Leave Students and Campus Workers Wondering Where Their Money Went

by Caleb Probst, Reporter

Students may have noticed a little something extra in their bank accounts recently. After months of speculation, UAB issued partial refunds to those who live on campus, meant as a consolation after most housing and dining services were suspended.

Academic relief in the form of pass-fail options and promises of fiscal payouts from the CARES Act might not be enough to keep struggling students afloat.

“A 33 percent refund is unbelievable,” said Brian Pham, a senior majoring in psychology. “I had over $200 left in Blazer Bucks but I’m getting less than $100 back, that pisses me off.”

On March 18, UAB announced that all on-campus classes and student services such as campus dining would be suspended for the remainder of the semester due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mary Ann Jiminez, a senior majoring in communications, said only offering refunds on UAB’s campus currency make it seem as if UAB is stealing money from its students.

“If I have $100 left in my account, I should get $100 back,” Jiminez said. “I put hundreds of dollars into campus dining, so why shouldn’t I get back every penny I have left?”

Students were work for UAB were the hardest hit, as UAB provided no paid leave to its student employees following the shutdown of campus facilities such as the Student Recreation Center and Hill

Student Center.

Kevin Peresich, a junior majoring in engineering, said with campus shutting down, he had trouble paying for food and rent.

“Many students are losing their primary, if not only, source of income,” said Peresich, who is also a Chick-fil-A employee. “Students deserve to be paid during the shutdown, but have received no input from the campus whatsoever.”

Peresich wasn’t the only student employee who faced problems following the campus shutdown.

Jermichael Jones, a sophomore majoring in marketing, said he was depending on paychecks to afford the cost of living in Birmingham.

“I’m not on a full scholarship to live on campus, I need this paycheck to pay rent,” said Jones, a front-desk worker at the Campus Recreation Center.

Jones said he believes UAB can afford to offer relief, but hasn’t so far.

With no monetary relief in sight, students like Jared King, a senior majoring in engineering, are just happy their grades were salvaged after the pandemic forced UAB to move to remote learning.

An option to be graded on a pass/fail basis, with students earning over a grade of 60 deemed as passing a course was well-received.

Remote learning was a steep curve for both students and teachers, so the policy offered many students help who they needed it most.

“Pass/Fail saved my semester”, King said.

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Made By Students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham