A petition has been created for Western Michigan University to ease students' financial burden amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The petition said it is to ask WMU and President Montgomery to provide more substantial financial relief to students. The petition was created by senior HanMyo Ngandu, a social work major.
“I am just asking for the same support in their (WMU’s) mission statement,” Ngandu said. “They should practice what they preach.”
WMU’s website says that their passion is, “Improving the future of our communities and our world. It starts with our students. Our innovative educational approach and leading-edge research opportunities prepare students for successful careers and a better future.”
According to the petition, all members of the community have suffered due the COVID-19. The petition reads that students have been impacted in numerous ways:
• Changing instructional distance learning
• Loss of employment,
• Loss of housing
• Loss of social and academic support
• Grieving and mourning COVID related losses and illness
• Many students were not eligible for the stimulus check nor unemployment
• Loss of access to campus provided internet
• Loss of access to printing
• Loss of graduation ceremony and graduation related activities
"Many students are having to pick and choose what they pay for,” Ngandu said. “Students are feeling discouraged for something they can’t control.”
Ngandu said her tuition, which was usually $3,800, was lowered to $3,760. This would be a $40 discount for Summer I tuition for the College of Health and Human Services. She said in her petition that this would not even cover the cost of internet for a household.
Ngandu also said she wants WMU to offer more and better services for students when they reach out to financial aid.
One of the given reasons for signing the petition reads, “I feel like it’s important mentally, physically and financially to provide more substantial financial relief for students.”
As of May 2, the petition had 375 signatures. Ngandu said the feedback has been nothing but positive. She said Financial Aid should offer items, such as the CARES Act, to students.
The CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted from COVID-19.
“Western should do something for their students until the fall semester for the students health and mental health,” Ngandu said.
The petition can be found at, https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/summer-school-tutition-reduced?bucket=&source=twitter-share-button&utm_campaign=&utm_source=twitter&share=712966bb-2364-4c97-ae38-bef126ac231a.