Auburn's Samford Hall

Auburn University has re-released a payment plans for students that will provide a bit of breathing room and aide during the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic downturn.

Auburn University has many unknowns in its future: the rest of the spring semester, summer classes and graduation, among a few.

The Auburn University Parent and Family Association held a Facebook Live meeting Wednesday evening to try and answer questions and shed light on the unknowns.

Lady Cox, assistant vice president for student engagement, and Torey Palmer, program administrator for the Auburn University Parent and Family Association, took questions from parents on the Facebook Live Chat.

Parents could tune in and drop their questions in the comment section while Palmer and Cox tried to get through as many as possible.

The Facebook Live video remains available for viewing on the Parent and Family Association Facebook.

“We appreciate y’all spending the time and talking with us tonight,” Palmer said. “It’s our hope that we can continue to deliver information and feedback for you as we all go through this together. We’re in an unprecedented time in the history of this university.”

Spring, summer semesters and commencementOne parent is trying to decide whether to buy their college student a plane ticket back to Auburn before April 10.

The parent asked how much notice the university would give students before they need to come back to school.

“Right now, the hope is that we’re going to have some guidance by early next week with a decision being made on the rest of the semester and a decision being made for what summer classes are going to look like and a decision being made on commencement, our graduation for this spring,” Palmer said.

He said that he hopes the answer will come Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Camp War Eagle also is still up in the air. A parent asked if there would be refunds for registration fees for Camp War Eagle, and Palmer said that decision should come soon.

Campus dining

Several questions rolled in asking about refunds for different things like housing, meal plans, etc.

Students at the university are required to purchase some sort of meal plan, whether that be the more expensive version for students living on-campus or a cheaper option for those living off-campus.

“We are definitely looking to see right now what our options are in terms of meal plans or housing,” Cox said.

One problem occurs with students who received financial aid, Cox said. If refunds are issued, some students could lose parts of their financial aid, which they may need to pay tuition.

The school is looking at options for refunds and could issue an update next week, Cox said.

Residence hallsSimilar questions arose in terms of housing. Since students are not staying in the residence halls, could some sort of partial refund be instituted?

“We’ve heard from parents loud and clear that ‘if my student isn’t in the residence halls anymore, we want to be able to get a refund for the time that they weren’t there’, so we’re advocating for that on their behalf,” Cox said.

Many also wondered about getting belongings out of dorms, especially if the semester does not continue after April 10.

“There is a health and safety component to this, in terms of if we need to follow the guidelines by the CDC where we’re not having a large number of people in a space at one time, allowing students to come back in the residence halls, we would want to do that all at one time,” Cox said.

Palmer said some students have already come back to retrieve items by contacting the housing authority directly.

“Housing has, at least in my experience, been flexible in working with parents and families to retrieve items from students’ residence halls,” he said.

Questions regarding coming back to the halls should be directed to the housing authority’s email: housing@auburn.edu.

Cars on campusAny student who left their car parked on campus should not worry, Palmer and Cox assured parents in the video.

Parking Services said last week that they would not be ticketing cars.

The Auburn Police Department also is still patrolling campus, Cox said.

“I saw several folks patrolling around today,” she said. “And I see plenty of expensive bicycles and cars and other things on campus, and so know that safety is continuing to be important. There’s not a lot of us here but APD is still patrolling.”

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