Financial and security concerns force some students to take time off



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With a normal semester on campus out of sight, several Syracuse University students have chosen to take time off this fall.

Students made the decision to postpone due to financial constraints, concerns about the spread of the coronavirus on campus or to seize different opportunities in times of uncertainty.

Here are the stories of four SU students who chose to defer their registration to the League this semester, and what caused them to be absent from college:

Sourov Rayhan


Sourov Rayhan came to Syracuse University to escape the persecution LGBTQ people face in his home country, Bangladesh. But when his mother’s business began to suffer during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rayhan, a sophomore studying English, realized he wouldn’t be able to afford the fees. SU tuition this fall.

Rayhan sent an appeal letter to SU on March 22 asking the university to lower its tuition fees. SU denied the request two days later. As a result, Rayhan – who lives in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh – has chosen to be absent from the League.

“I have to take time off because of (the appeal refusal), and the school is still not cooperating while I say my life is going to be on the line, ”Rayhan said.

Now Rayhan is back in Dhaka helping her mother is restarting her business. He hopes to return to the League in the spring, where he can feel more secure.

“This shouldn’t have happened if the school had cooperated,” he said.

Hannah ly

Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s travel advisory, those traveling to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut from COVID-19 hotspots must self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. The order reached over 3,000 SU students at the start of the fall semester, including Hannah Ly.

There were costs associated with completing the quarantine. SU allowed freshmen and transfer students to quarantine themselves in their dorms for a fee of $ 1,000, while returning students were to self-quarantine. Some students, like Ly, felt the cost was not worth it.

Ly, a sophomore studying magazine, news and digital journalism from California, feared spending money on quarantine only to be sent home during a peak in COVID cases -19 to SU.

“I was afraid I would spend all that money trying to find a place to live during that two week quarantine period, and then two weeks later, once classes started, there would be an outbreak and I would just be sent home. me. “Ly said. “I didn’t want to waste so much money.

SU has said it will suspend residential education if 100 students contact COVID-19 and send students home if an outbreak overwhelms the university’s ability to track and isolate new cases.

Ly was on track to graduate a year earlier, in the spring of 2022. Now she will likely have to postpone graduation for at least a semester. She works full time at a home grocery store while taking online classes at a local community college, which she says is cheaper than taking classes through SU and more suited to her work schedule.

She plans to save the money she earns when she returns to the League.

“Seeing that some schools haven’t even started classes and just decided to go online, it scares me a little that I won’t be able to go back for the spring semester,” Ly said. “It’s going to push my plans to graduate a year earlier, it’ll completely disintegrate them.”

Noah Goldmann

Noah Goldmann decided to take a semester off from SU even before the pandemic began.

Goldmann, a senior student studying math and sustainability and environmental politics, is spending this semester in Montana, working on a few different political campaigns with the Montana Democratic Party.

“I knew I wanted to work on an election this year,” Goldmann said. “I wanted to take the semester before COVID and then it worked pretty well for me.”

Goldmann spends most of his time at the main party office. Like other League students who took a leave of absence this semester, he will have to push back his scheduled graduation date. He plans to return to the League in the spring and graduate next December, a semester later than he originally planned.

Curran campbell

Curran Campbell’s leave of absence is only expected to delay his graduation by a semester if he returns to campus in the spring. But he has not yet decided if he will return.

Campbell, a sophomore broadcasting and digital journalism student, decided to take a semester off due to the cost of attending SU, which rose after the university increased tuition fees by 3.9% for the academic year 2020-21.

“I can’t justify paying the amount we’re paying to have extremely limited in-person experience,” Campbell said. “The limitations of campus life made the cost of attendance not worth it, at least for this fall. ”

Campbell, who lives in Hillsborough, NC, takes an online course at North Carolina State University and earns money delivering food to his fellow postmates.

“I don’t make a lot of money doing it, but it’s enough to get me going a bit,” he said.

Campbell plans to decide if he will return to campus next month so he can register in time for spring classes.

“I’m just looking at (the fall semester) like some sort of crazy science experiment from afar right now,” Campbell said. “We will see what happens and we will make a decision accordingly. “

Assistant digital editor Austin Lamb contributed reporting for this article.

Contact Mira: [email protected]


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