Longwood students have received a lot of news from the university in the past month. Amid the coronavirus, it was announced on March 19 that classes would be moved online for the remainder of the spring semester, and students were encouraged to return home if able.
The following week, Longwood announced that all students must return home or register to be granted to stay for emergencies, per an email from Tim Pierson, vice president for student affairs.
The next day, another email was sent out informing students of the refunds they would be receiving based on their housing and dining plans. It was announced that students who live in Longwood housing and have a dining plan will be reimbursed $1,000, while students who have a commuter dining plan will receive $300. These payments will be split into two, with half of the payment coming within 30 days, and the other half coming in July.
“A lot of factors went into the refund amount. We knew that the situation was changing very quickly, there were a lot of families that didn’t know what their financial situation might be,” Vice President for Administration and Finance Louise Waller said. “We wanted to get refunds into their hands as soon as possible.”
Shortly after the email was sent out, students began questioning the amount they would be receiving. One student, junior Bishop Vallette, felt strongly that he was not receiving the right amount.
Vallette said, “I calculated the days that I would not be spending at Longwood and the number of meal swipes I did not use, and got a higher number than what they are giving me.”
Upon making his calculations, Vallette started a petition for students and their families to sign if they felt the same way. As of April 15, the petition has over 800 signatures and has been shared on multiple social media platforms.
Vallette’s reason for creating the petition was to get the word out there and see if others felt they were not getting the correct amount. He added that there should not be a flat rate, as everyone is in a different situation and has used different amounts of meal swipes since the start of the semester.
Waller mentioned that due to the ever-changing situation, administration felt it was best for everyone to receive a flat rate, and it made it easier to get the money to the families as soon as possible to provide financial relief.
Two weeks after the refunds were announced, an email went out from Tim Pierson, letting students know that unused bonus dollars from the spring semester will roll over to the next academic year, in addition to Lancer Cash. Students were also notified at that time that they will receive a $50 credit on their account for parking. Students that are graduating will receive this money in the form of a check in July.
Vallette argued that even with the bonus dollars rolling over and the parking refund, it is still not enough of a refund for this semester. He urged students to sign the petition in order to get the word out across campus.
Students that have questions about the refund can email email@example.com.