by Meerah Powell
March 22, 2021
Students in the class-action lawsuits say they should not be paying for in-person experiences while taking classes remotely during the pandemic.
Students have filed class-action lawsuits against both Oregon State University and the University of Oregon seeking to be paid back for some of the tuition and fees they paid during the pandemic.
According to court documents, students argue they should not be paying for campus facilities and other in-person activities and experiences when they are unable to access them.
Attorneys with the law firm Hagens Berman said charging students for full on-campus services while they cannot use them is essentially a breach of contract.
The law firm is representing students in similar class-action lawsuits brought against more than a dozen other universities, including the University of Washington.
“College students pay universities for libraries, gyms, campus facilities, activities, in-person access to professors and other hands-on experiences,” Steve Berman, managing partner and attorney with Hagens Berman, said in a statement. “The University of Oregon, we believe, has unfairly continued to charge tuition payers for all of the things they were not allowed to experience and use during the COVID-19 campus closure and switch to online classes.”
Berman said the same about OSU: “We believe that when OSU closed its campus, transitioning to online-only classes, it barred tuition payers from the very things they paid for, and in our opinion, they deserve repayment.”