UT must take care of its students, refund part of tuition

Luis Quintanilla

Why should students get refunded a portion of their tuition for not being able to access the amenities they’re paying for?

That question alone raises a red flag. Would you pay for a subscription like Disney+, Netflix or Apple Music if you couldn’t access them? No. You’d either cancel your subscription and pay for a service that’s better and more cost efficient, or you’d just save your money.

In my opinion, if students wanted to take online classes at Austin Community College, Houston Community College or even at UT they would, but the reality is that everyone who wanted to enroll in an online learning community has already signed up for those classes. Nobody else wants to take online classes for the other half of the semester. I think some people would rather take more affordable online classes at their local schools back home than be stranded in Austin.

UT has an endowment of $32 billion, not including their financial assets such as Texas Athletics. As a result of the support of both the city and students, these assets make millions of dollars in revenue, even during a bad season. You see the students taking care of the University. Now will we see the University take care of its students?

There are some resources the University offers that involve the emergency loan money set aside from our tuition. I am getting help from Student Emergency Services, but I still have my doubts that everyone has access or knowledge of this. They aren’t being proactive, and are instead reactive when trying to help people. It’s like you have to find these resources and information on your own — it doesn’t feel like general public knowledge.

My name is Luis Quintanilla and I make music as Luis The Lover. I love Austin, and I am now back home in Houston. I was let go of my job at Sushi Hi because it was one of the first businesses affected by the virus and the unfortunate amount of xenophobia that resides in the city. It’s hard not knowing how I’m going to pay rent, food, phone bills, utilities and other expenses, and taking online classes isn’t something I feel I signed up for.

I’d like to cancel my subscription and get at least one-third of my tuition money back. In a time like this, UT has to create its own stimulus package for its student community, which invests a lot into UT.