Are RU residents satisfied with their meal plan refunds?

by Karina Aguilar / Staff Reporter

Residents are potentially able to get anywhere from $200 to $443 worth of credit from the remainder of their meal plans for the 2020 fall semester. Photo by Alejandro Caballero.

On April 2, Roosevelt University Residence Life sent out an email to all residents with an update on campus living during the coronavirus pandemic. In the email, they explained that students are allowed on campus, but must follow social distancing even while in the dorms. 

Students seem to be satisfied with their decision to keep the residence halls accessible to students living on campus. 

“I think there is only so much you can do for students in a situation like this,” said Azalia Resendiz, sophomore sociology major. “Keeping the dorms open for students was a really big help to me since it was hard for me to concentrate at home, and I decided to stay in the dorms for the sake of my GPA.”

However, several students have found issues with the cafeteria’s food selection. 

Sophomore finance major Connor Graefen explained how he felt about the cafeteria when he went to move out of the residence halls.

“I was only there for a few hours, though I did go down to the cafeteria and noticed that there were not a lot of options for food,” said Graefen.

Aside from announcing that students will continue to have access to the residence halls, Residence Life also told residents that they could potentially get partial refunds on their meal plans.

As long as students did not return to the residence halls or have fully checked out of their rooms as of April 1, they are eligible to receive a prorated 50% credit of whatever they have left on their meal plans as of March 16. 

This means that Roosevelt students can receive up to $400 and students that previously went to Robert Morris can receive up to $443 worth of credits for fall 2020 bills.

If students do not qualify for this, they are able to get up to a $200 credit for the 2020 fall semester. 

Although it seems like most residents who have money left on their meal plan will get some sort of credit, several students voiced their displeasure with the April 1 deadline. 

“I think having the deadline be on April 1 is a bit early to have checked out of their room, but again, I do understand the school’s ideas behind it all,” said Rebecca Beaman, a junior majoring in paralegal studies.

Some students that were qualified for the 50% refund still voiced their opinions on the deadline.

“I’m fortunate to get at least half of my money back because I moved out before the deadline, but I feel for the people who moved out after April 1,” said Graefen. “It is especially not fair to them because they are not getting nearly as much of their money back. There should be no deadline.”

While the deadline may be limiting for students, many explained that they are able to understand why Roosevelt came to this decision. 

“I wouldn’t say I am satisfied with only getting half my money back from my meal plan,” said Beaman. “I wish that we would get more money back if we weren’t living there, but I do understand that some of the money we gave at the beginning of the year is already spent and that is why we don’t get it back. It just stinks to think that I put money somewhere and am not using it, but the situation is out of the university’s hands at some point.”

Other students have tried to use up some of the money they will not be able to get credit for by buying products in bulk, and say they are very frustrated with the struggle to do so. Buying in bulk is something that students have done toward the end of the school year in the past, so some students were disappointed to find out that it might not be possible throughout this quarantine. 

Burke Babeu, a junior biology major, said he was very frustrated with his search to even find the contact information for dining services. He explained that there was only one number that he could find on the Roosevelt app, instead of the directory on the website. 

On top of the lack of contact information available to him, Babeu said he was also very frustrated by the contradictory information he received from Residence Life and dining services.

“I called the number listed on Roosevelt’s app for the dining center on April 2 to see if it was an option and just heard back from the dining center on April 23. Residence Life told me that it was not an option to place a bulk order, while the dining center told me that I could have,” said Babeu. “I was unable to actually do so since they got back to me after I had already moved out. It was quite frustrating that it took them so long to get back to me and I was not told the same information from Residence Life and dining services.”

Although students are frustrated with the communication throughout this pandemic, some students said they are generally understanding of the difficult decisions Roosevelt staff had to make throughout this process. 

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