Growing chorus of students demand colleges 'pay us back' amid coronavirus closures

  • Students at Stony Brook University in New York are demanding their university send them home from campus.
  • The students claim that the university has lacked communication about coronavirus.

Students at one New York university have gathered to demand that their school close campus and give them their money back. 

After an increasing number of universities nationwide have closed their doors and extended their spring breaks amid coronavirus concerns, students at Stony Brook University have begun to protest and demand refunds from the school's administration. 

“We’re all concerned about the safety and health of all of you on our campus."   

While Stony Brook has moved to online courses, students have not yet been dismissed from campuses.

On Wednesday, students took to a Reddit forum to discuss protesting. Students suggested gathering by the circle to protest any administration, faculty or personnel that would appear. 


[RELATED: WATCH: Harvard medical prof calls US coronavirus response a 'catastrophic failure']

When trying to get more students to gather, a Reddit user wrote “There is already a photographer and a few people in front of Administration. Meet near the circle by the side that’s facing the library.” Students also asked “Where should I scream?” and “We started the movement.”

Video posted to social media shows students chanting “Send us home. Pay us back.”


[RELATED: Thousands demand UCSD 'cancel' student fees after classes go online]

According to student paper The Statesman, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Richard Gatteau responded to protesters, saying, “we’re all concerned about the safety and health of all of you on our campus, I’m here to support all of you, and we’re trying to make the most informed decision for the campus.” When attempting to give a response, Gatteau was reportedly interrupted multiple times by protesters shouting things like “no you aren’t!” and “we need answers!”

[RELATED: Students block street, jump on cars after in-person classes canceled over coronavirus fears]

“I came out today because there is definitely an irresponsible lack of communication between Stony Brook’s administration and students, I do know that I came out because I feel as though personal safety is not at the forefront,” one student told The Statesman.

“When I walked out to the crowd of students, they weren’t shouting anything, so not sure if/what they were saying before I arrived,” Gatteau told Campus Reform. “Our residence halls remain open so all students are welcome to stay.” Gatteau also sent a link to information regarding the coronavirus, available for Stony Brook students; including FAQs, resources, and updates.”

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Jessica Custodio
Jessica Custodio | New York Senior Campus Correspondent

Jessica Custodio is a New York Senior Campus Correspondent, reporting liberal bias and abuse on her campus. She is a second-year student at SUNY - Dutchess and a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

20 Articles by Jessica Custodio