Unvaccinated students to receive refunds for withdrawn classes

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Iraj Zia | The Ticker

Emanuela Gallo, News Editor

Students withdrawn from a class for not submitting proof of vaccination by Sept. 27 will have the cost of the class refunded if it was paid out-of-pocket, pending approval by the CUNY Board of Trustees.

Students who received financial aid for the fall 2021 semester will receive more information about how it will be impacted by the withdrawal.

“Details about the refund will be forthcoming,” according to CUNY’s coronavirus page.

Students registered for in-person classes who did not comply with CUNY’s vaccine mandate were withdrawn from them and will receive a WA grade.

The withdrawal date was Oct. 8 for all CUNY students except those from LaGuardia Community College, Kingsborough Community College and Guttman Community College. Their deadline was Oct. 21 since their semester begins later.

The withdrawal policy includes students who are enrolled in hybrid classes that haven’t yet met in person. These students must upload proof of vaccination at least 10 days before the first in-person class.

It also does not apply to students with approved religious or medical exemptions. Unvaccinated students will not be withdrawn from any virtual classes. They will also not be withdrawn from hybrid classes that had all their in-person sessions before Oct. 7.

However, CUNY’s withdrawal policy has received mixed opinions from Baruch College students.

Anastasia Matano, a journalism major, said that she agrees with the refund policy.

“Especially during these circumstances, CUNY Board of Trustees should support students financially regardless of their decision to vaccinate,” she said. “College is no small financial feat.”

The refund is appropriate also because some students were not aware of the withdrawal policy, according to Matano.

“I believe that Baruch has made very little efforts to both communicate and support students through the vaccination process,” she said. “I don’t think it is fair that CUNY has been unclear about non-vaccinated attendance policies and should students be forced to withdraw because of this, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be fully entitled to an at least partial refund.”

Mackenzi Warrington, a senior business communication major, said that she believes unvaccinated students should be refunded because the vaccination mandate is unjust.

“CUNY should be ashamed for how they have handled the COVID-19 situation,” she said. “Forcing students to withdraw from classes because they didn’t feel comfortable with getting a vaccine is horrendous and appalling. So many students won’t continue their education after this and CUNY — and our government — are to blame.”

Public affairs major Caspar Gajewski, on the other hand, said he believes that the Board of Trustees should not approve a policy that refunds the unvaccinated.

“The unvaccinated have extracted stolen time from their professors, asking them to review work that amounts to nothing in the absence of vaccination,” he said. “The unvaccinated have used the school’s myriad services and expect not to pay. The unvaccinated have stolen opportunities from their classmates, having abjured the possibility of some in-person classes.”

Students are encouraged to email their questions to their campus’ Campus Location Vaccine Authority Liaisons. They can contact them to seek permission for delayed vaccination, according to the page.

Students should contact their LVA liaison if they receive a WA grade and believe it to be an error.

Baruch’s LVA contacts are Interim Associate Director of Health and Wellness Alise Eramian and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions Hugo Morales. Their emails can be found on CUNY’s LVA liaisons page.

Editor’s Note: Anastasia Matano, who was quoted in the above story, is a Ticker writer.