East Carolina University Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson announced on Aug. 30 that refunds for housing, dining and parking would begin to be processed which would take approximately three to five weeks. The refunds would be based on the residence hall and neighborhood the students resided in and how many days the students lived in them.
The announcement came after ECU officials announced that undergraduate classes would be moved online for the remainder of the fall semester on Aug. 23 due to the rising cases of COVID-19 on campus. Students who lived in residence halls were told they would be moved out during the following week. Concerns from students and families begin to rise about whether students would receive refunds for housing, dining and parking.
ECU Campus Living released a statement on Aug. 25, announcing that students who purchased meal plans will receive a prorated refund of their plans through Nov. 29. Unspent Purple Bucks will be credited to the student’s account and Gold Bucks can either be additionally added to their account or refunded at the student’s request. ECU officials announced that with these refunds, there would also be the possibility of staff furloughs and pay cuts.
We, the editorial staff of The East Carolinian, are pleased to see that students who were moved out of the residence halls will receive refunds for living, dining and parking. However, we believe it is unfortunate that there may be staff furloughs and pay cuts in the process.
The potential furloughs wouldn’t affect all faculty members, as associate professors are paid out-of-state appropriation, which isn’t affected, while other professors are under contract meaning they can’t be furloughed during the current school year. Pay cuts are still a possibility if the conditions continue to worsen, and fixed-term faculty members may be laid off in the process. A hiring freeze is also a possibility.
While these changes are necessary as ECU works to prevent further spread of COVID-19, we are displeased to hear that ECU may be letting go of faculty members or cutting their pay. We believe It is important for the Pirate Nation to stick together and support one another now more than ever during these changing times.