The University of Wisconsin is expecting a $100 million loss due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank said the $100 million estimate was a depiction of how much the university would lose if social distancing ended by June, according to WSJ.
The majority of this financial loss comes from reimbursing students in University Housing who are unable to live in their dorms during the pandemic, and employee parking permits. Other expenses included costs for professional cleaners, software licenses and equipment to move classes online. The $100 million estimate did not include reimbursement of student’s tuition and fees.
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Although some students were asking the university for such reimbursement, UW is clear on not granting the request based on guidance from the University of Wisconsin System.
“We’ve been very clear on that. We are continuing this semester and we are going to complete this semester,” Blank said.
Some students said payments for segregated fees are unreasonable as most services on campus are closed due to the pandemic, according to WSJ. Such services included child care centers, campus gyms and the Wisconsin Union.
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University spokesperson John Lucas said payment for campus services was still needed for UW during this period, according to WSJ.
“(These services) were fully operational for the majority of the semester,” Lucas said, according to WSJ. “All of these services still have employees that still require our support, and many have facilities-related debt service which must be paid.”
Such service fees also created contention among UW graduate students, according to WSJ. In past years, the graduate student union has asked the university to waive such fees for graduate employees.
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In response, Lucas said students with certain circumstances could appeal to their academic dean, and that graduate students were allowed to get additional paid leave because of the coronavirus, according to WSJ.