Hundreds Refuse to Pay UChicago as Tuition Strike Takes Off, Organizers Say: ‘This Isn’t a Bluff’

Matthew Hendrickson:

As hundreds of students refuse to make payments to the University of Chicago, organizers say they hope the tuition strike will convince the school’s leadership to come to the bargaining table.

Students with UChicago for Fair Tuition demanded earlier this month that the university cut tuition by 50% and eliminate student fees for as long as the coronavirus pandemic continued, citing changing financial situations for students due to skyrocketing unemployment.

About 1,900 students signed a petition asking the university to cut tuition and 950 said they planned to withhold their money this past Wednesday when spring semester payments were due, the group said.

Julia Attie, an organizer of the strike, said she has received confirmation from about 200 students that withheld payments.

Students who withhold payment could be subject to a late fee, which organizers said they were trying to cover through more than $2,000 in donations raised by the group. Students who continue to strike could also miss graduation, the students say.

Attie, who plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in June, hopes it doesn’t come to that.