Legal battle underway as students sue ISU over fee refunds

ISU President Larry Dietz announced in April it was issuing a partial refund of mandatory fees at $12 per credit hour, or $180 for a student taking 15 hours. (Facebook/Illinois State University)

 

By HOI ABC

NORMAL – Responding to a federal lawsuit, Illinois State University claims it strives to provide fair refunds of the mandatory fees students paid for the semester interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university issued a statement after two freshman, Bailey Thiele and Jack Moylan, filed a class action lawsuit claiming ISU didn’t refund enough of the mandatory fees for the recently-completed semester, according to our news partner Heart of Illinois ABC.

Students were told not to return to campus after their spring break in March. They finished their coursework online.

“In refunding approximately $3 million in total fees to students, the University considered which services were still being offered to students through alternative means, such as counseling and health services, and ongoing infrastructure costs funded by fees,” said spokesperson Eric Jome in a prepared statement.

“The University strives to provide fair refunds for all of its students in this challenging time,” Jome also said.

In the lawsuit, filed May 21, Thiele said she paid $1,384.20 in mandatory fees for the 15 hours she took during spring semester. Moylan said he paid $1,107.36 in fees for the 12 hours he took during the semester.

ISU President Larry Dietz announced in April it was issuing a partial refund of mandatory fees at $12 per credit hour, or $180 for a student taking 15 hours.

“While closing ISU’s campus and transitioning to online classes was the proper response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this decision deprived Plaintiffs and the other members of the Class from recognizing the benefits of access to campus facilities, student activities, and other benefits and services for which they had already paid fees,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit went on to say, “ISU’s refund reflects a 13% reimbursement of mandatory fees for a semester in which Plaintiff and other Class Members were deprived of access to the services funded by the fees for over 50% of the semester.”

In seeking class action status, Thiele and Moylan said they’re filing the suit on behalf of “all people who paid fees for or on behalf of students enrolled in classes at ISU for the Spring 2020 semester.

WJBC News can be reached at news@wjbc.com

Blogs

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…

Everyone counts and you could make the difference

By Mike Matejka How many federal dollars will there be for road repairs?  To feed hungry families?  How many Illinois representatives will there be in Congress?  Are Illinois communities going to get their fair share? There’s only one way to ensure our community gets treated properly – answer the census. The every ten year U.S. census,…

Reactions to the “A Community in Conflict” exhibit

By Mike Matejka Every community has its home-town pride; Bloomington-Normal is proud to claim Steak n’ Shake and MASH TV star McLean Stevenson.  We’ve also had a moment of contention and conflict.  Sometimes these are uplifting stories of human progress. At other times, they cause us to shake our heads and wonder why. The McLean…