Cancel the nonpayment policy

CAMPUS ISSUES: Going forward with ridiculous cancel for nonpayment policy shows that the campus is incapable of responding to students.

Wait, haven’t we written this exact editorial before?

The campus’s decision to continue its cancel for nonpayment policy after the controversy it created last semester shows that officials remain either unwilling or unable to respond to students’ concerns.

When the policy was first announced, the summer’s The Daily Californian Senior Editorial Board strongly condemned it. It rightly explained that the policy, which drops students from classes if they fail to pay 20 percent of their tuition by a date preceding the start of classes, would disproportionately affect low-income students and those who rely on financial aid.

After a slew of student protests and direct confrontation from ASUC officials, the campus extended the deadline. At the time, it showed at least a small willingness to adjust policy in light of student concerns.

The campus’s decision to continue with the policy without changing its original form shows the opposite.

When the 20 percent tuition deadline is Jan. 13 but students cannot apply for emergency funds until Jan. 10, students are unnecessarily forced into a position wherein their enrollment futures remain precarious.

And the campus’s claim that the policy helps students by ensuring that they figure out their finances before school starts insults us. Not all students who pay full tuition have the resources to put down the initial 20 percent by such an early date in the semester. By continually ignoring students’ pleas and attempts to reason against the policy, the campus proves its commitment not to serving students, but to appearing obtuse.

At this point, though, students floundering beneath an unjust policy feel helpless. We already protested and won a partial victory. We already went through this. Why are campus officials starting from square one, under the guise that additional forewarning somehow solves the problem?

Campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff even claimed that by establishing deadlines earlier, the campus would mitigate the strain that the deadline places on students. This mere drop in the bucket shows, however, that the campus has admitted that the policy strains students. Why administrators insist on keeping the policy in place, then, remains a mystery.

In any case, a vastly underfunded and understaffed Financial Aid Office will now continue to struggle under the burden of increased financial stress passed along to students.

It’s simply unfathomable that campus officials instituted a policy so unpopular that student activism forced them to reconsider it — and then continued on with the original policy.

We don’t want to write about the ludicrous policy a third time.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Senior Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.

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