Housing and dining refunds and coronavirus-related updates

Housing and dining refunds

Housing and dining refunds for students who recently moved out of the residence halls will be processed by the end of April, if not sooner. Students who have credits on their accounts will have checks mailed to their permanent address on record in PAWS.

As of this spring, the Cashier’s Office no longer processes refunds by electronic funds transfer. It is currently processing checks two times per week while maintaining social distancing between employees.

Room reimbursements will be issued for the period from March 23 to May 16 for most students living in residence halls, regardless of the day they move out.

Students who lived in Kenilworth and have since vacated were being billed monthly. They will not be billed in April and May, and they will receive a credit for the period from March 23 to March 31.

Please note that any balances owed to the university will be deducted from housing and dining refunds before checks are issued. University Housing is sending additional information to students with residence hall contracts. You can also visit the University Housing COVID-19 site to contact staff with a question.

Segregated Fees

Many students have asked about refunds for Spring 2020 segregated fees, noting that they are not on campus to take advantage of the services those fees provide.

Segregated fees provide funding for a wide range of services, including Norris Health Center, University Counseling Services, University Recreation and other student engagement services, including Student Involvement, the Women’s Resource Center, Military and Veterans Resource Center, the Center for Inclusive Excellence and the LGBTQ+ Resource Center. These services are still operating, although they may look a little different right now. For example, University Recreation is offering online fitness classes and recreation clinics . University Counseling is offering telehealth-based counseling.

Many of the units mentioned in the preceding paragraph, along with the Graduate Student Resource Network and UWM Student Association, are collaborating on a virtual student union, which is a Canvas course where Panthers can connect and build community through discussions, one-on-one conversations and social media. Students will be invited to join the Canvas course next week via their UWM email account.

Segregated fees also pay for maintaining buildings, such as the UWM Student Union, the Klotsche Center and related utility costs. These buildings and services have costs that can’t quickly be reduced, such as heat, maintenance and professional staff. And, we want to make sure that the buildings and services are available when students return to campus. For this reason, UW System has determined no UW campus will refund segregated fees for the spring semester.

It’s too soon for us to say whether the COVID-19 situation will continue beyond spring semester or what its total financial impact will be. While some units are seeing savings with providing online services, others are facing a loss of non-seg fee revenue from things like locker fees, dining and space rentals, which also help support their budgets. And, after years of state budget cuts, UWM has little in reserve to cover these losses.

As we look ahead, campus leaders are working with the UWM Student Association to determine adjustments to future segregated fees. If you are concerned about these fees, we encourage you to contact your SA representatives so that your voice will be heard.

Course illness policy

We wanted to let you know of guidance given to faculty and instructional staff on absences due to illness for the rest of this semester.

We have asked faculty and instructional staff not to require students to provide excuses from health care professionals when missing class or assignments due to illness. We understand that health care systems are becoming overburdened and may not be able to provide excuses.

We also have asked instructors to be flexible with students whose families have been affected by COVID-19.  We recognize that you may be managing care for relatives who are ill or otherwise need your support, and that you may be dealing with other complications related to the pandemic.

We ask that you keep your instructors informed about your circumstances and let them know if you need help or accommodations. We’re all in this together, and we want to support you.

Grading and credit/no credit

On Monday, we shared with you a new emergency grading accommodation for undergraduates.

All enrolled students will receive a letter grade in each enrolled Spring 2020 course by the grade deadline of May 21. Students will have until July 3 to designate courses to be graded on a credit/no credit basis or to keep the grade they received.

The earlier email you received with information on the policy wrongly referred to it as an “Emergency Interim Pass/Fail Grading Policy.” It is not a pass/fail policy, but an option to take a class for credit/no credit. We apologize for any confusion.

Please consult with your academic advisor with questions about this policy and procedures.

Grad student accommodations

Similarly, we have new interim policies affecting graduate students.

Grading

The Emergency Graduate Grading Accommodation Policy expands the credit/no credit option for graduate students. This will apply to eligible courses with letter grades and to courses with satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades. Schools and colleges will identify courses that are ineligible for credit/no credit grading by April 14. Students will be assigned a letter or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade in each course by the grading deadline of May 21. Graduate students may elect to change a spring 2020 course to credit/no credit on or before July 3. For more details, see the policy posted here.

Time Clock

The Emergency Time Clock Accommodation for Graduate Students extends the timeline to complete doctoral and master’s degrees by one year for students who entered their programs before or in the Spring 2020 semester. The COVID-19 emergency also will be regarded as an extenuating circumstance for all current doctoral students to request up to a one-year extension of the deadline to complete the preliminary examination. For more details on the policy, click here.