Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

With the planning stages of the future student rec center still being held up in the West Chester Borough Council, first and second year students who were charged a Rec Center fee as part of the general costs of their tuition last semester will receive a refund on their accounts will credited. The University defines first-year students as those who have accumulated 29.5 credits or less and second-year students as those who have accumulated 59.5 credits or less. The refund or credit is also based on when students may have scheduled last semester, which could have affected their projected credit level.

Full-time first-year students were charged $79 in the fall semester and second-year students were charged $59. The graduated fee was implemented with the idea that students newest to the university would benefit from the new rec center the most.

While the refund or credit is based on these particularities, the fact remains that the University needed to repay students who had been charged for a facility for which ground has yet to be broken.

“We’ve already begun refunds, they will be done over the next few weeks,” Daniel Pauletti, director of student financial services, said.

The refunds or account credits are retroactive from the fall semester, meaning that any students who were charged last semester will receive the repayment in accordance to when their tuition was paid. Students on the partial-payment plan will receive account credit according to their current account status. Students who currently owe money to the University will receive a reduction equal to the Rec Center fee while students who have paid their bills will receive a refund.

Pauletti urged that all students should stay updated with the status of their bills and refunds that can be found in the MyWCU section of the University’s website.

The rec center was scheduled to open in 2009 but the plans to begin construction have not been approved by the Borough Council, mainly due to residents nearby the University opposing the construction of a parking garage at the site of what is currently F Lot. The construction of the Rec Center hinges on the parking garage because the rec center will consume the parking area that is located adjacent to Lawrence Center.

“With the fact that the Rec Center won’t be open the University understood it wouldn’t be right to charge students,” Pauletti said.

The Rec Center fee was included in the general fees portion of students’ tuition bills. Borough Council will address the construction of the parking garage at the end of March, a meeting that will allow residents and students to appear and potentially influence the council’s approval or rejection to begin the construction process of the parking garage and consequently the future Rec Center.

Shane Madden is a fouth-year student majoring in history with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at sm590676@wcupa.edu.

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