Quinnipiac sued for tuition refund

Lawsuit cites loss of access to facilities and failure to provide promised experiences

Chatwan Mongkol, Associate News Editor

A Quinnipiac University student filed a lawsuit against the school for tuition and other expense refunds after the campus closure and transition to online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press release from Hagens Berman, attorneys filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on June 5, on behalf of Zoey Metzner, a film major of the class of 2022. However, the suit was also filed on behalf of the class members, which means Quinnipiac students with similar situations could add their name to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses the university of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and conversion.

As the campus has closed due to COVID-19, the lawsuit said the university continues to charge students for tuition and fees and to reap the financial benefits of millions of dollars from them, despite the university’s failure to provide promised campus experiences and facilities.

Michael Clement

“So while students enrolled and paid (Quinnipiac) for a comprehensive academic experience, (the university) instead offers (Metzner and class members) something far less: a limited online experience presented by Google or Zoom, void of face-to-face faculty and peer interaction, separated from program resources, and barred from facilities vital to study,” the lawsuit said.

As a film major, Metzner required access to campus facilities, Adobe softwares, film recording and editing equipment but lost that access, as the lawsuit said. It also cites that professors were unable to and did not adapt class lectures based on the circumstances, while Metzner also suffered from decreased accessibility to her professors.

As a result, it demands compensations of tuition, fees and the costs for attorneys.

It was stated in the university’s FAQ page regarding the refunds for tuition, housing and other costs that “the university has been focused on the health and education of our students and has not yet resolved the financial impact of this crisis. The university expects to be able to provide some level of refund for housing and meal plans for those graduating; for students not yet graduating the credit would be applied against next year’s costs. The university will provide further details in the coming weeks.”

Although the university has released a plan to refund costs of room and board and meal points, there has been no plan to refund the tuition and other service fees.

The Hartford Courant said John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations at Quinnipiac, said the university does not comment on pending litigation.

The Chronicle reached out to Metzner, but the law firm’s media relations said she is not available for questions directly.