Email to Students About Housing and Meals Credits

Dear Marian University Students and Families—

Greetings from Marian University! I hope this letter finds you, your family, and friends healthy and safe. I’m writing this letter on a beautiful spring day after recording the upcoming commencement ceremonies in our Marian Hall Theatre. It was certainly a bittersweet experience to recall the many beautiful Marian commencements I’ve been a part of over the years without our students present, celebrating and cheering on the proceedings and recognitions that a commencement brings. Be assured that we will celebrate our 2020 graduates in the coming months as well as upon your return to campus this fall.

I know that you and your families make generous investments to ensure that you can have the high-quality, personalized, Catholic and Franciscan education that Marian University provides. Together as a Marian University community, we are doing all we can to support you throughout your educational journey, especially in these challenging times.

We have worked through the complex issues involved in adjusting the costs you incurred this spring semester for your room and board. As you know, most students began leaving campus the week of March 17, and since then, all but a small group have returned to their permanent homes. Now that students are safely off campus and continuing their studies online, we have finalized our plans for adjustments to reflect these changes that began a month ago as we responded to the COVID-19 threat.

The full details of the plan are described in the attached document, but here are a few highlights:

  • Marian will credit residential student accounts for spring 2020 room and All Access meal charges for the period March 20-May 1, 2020;
  • Students graduating in May 2020 will receive a credit towards current amounts owed and a refund of any remaining funds;
  • Students with unused flex dollars tied to an All Access meal plan and students with unused flex dollars and/or unused meals on a commuter plan can utilize those dollars/meals through December 31, 2020;
  • Students graduating in May 2020 who have unused flex dollars or unused meals will receive a credit towards current amounts owed and a refund of any remaining funds;
  • Students who have remained in the residence halls since March 20 will not receive room or board adjustments.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Business Office with any questions or to discuss your particular situation.

Because I know that the impact of the pandemic on you and your families is not limited to your concern over room and board costs, we are in the process of closely evaluating the funds provided by Congress in the CARES Act to determine how best we can address all other impacts of this situation on you and your educational journey. We will have a process and criteria for distributing those funds in place in the next few weeks, and I will share that plan with you as soon as possible.

Finally, we are actively planning for your return to campus this fall, as students or alumni. We know that this return will require some adjustments and new procedures as we take the appropriate precautions to keep you safe, but we look forward with confidence to continuing our campus’s many familiar, treasured traditions and providing the wonderful learning environment you have come to expect from Marian University.

The challenges the COVID-19 virus has brought to you and the Marian University community have been significant, but our faculty, staff, students, board, alumni, and friends have pulled together to make sure Marian continues to be strong and ready to serve our students in this difficult semester and in years to come. I am so edified to serve as president of this student body and community, and I look forward to seeing you when we kick off a wonderful 2020-21 academic year.

Please continue to pray for all those negatively impacted by COVID-19, our remarkable health care providers, our Marian University community, and for each other. I will continue to pray for you and your loved ones as you prepare for final exams, papers, and projects during a particularly stressful time.

God bless you!
President Elsener

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