Resolution on Dropping Classes for Non-Payment of Tuition and Fees

Resolution Number: RS21-423
May, 2021
Whereas: 
RATIONALE: Dropping students from enrollment in classes due to unpaid fees prior to the start of a semester, while a necessary part of charging tuition for attending classes, can pose serious challenges to students who experience unexpected delays in availability of funds. Navigating such challenges can be more difficult when students and their families do not have a clear understanding of the process involved. At a time of exceptional calls of flexibility for students, SF state has suspended the non-payment drop process. The COVID-19 pandemic also prompted renewed interest on the part of administrators, students, faculty and staff in increasing transparency of the non-payment drop process. In the spirit of the exceptional consideration for students demonstrated by SF State’s President and cabinet in their decision to suspend the drop process in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 and the expressed interest of administrators in increasing transparency and clear communication concerning the drop process, this resolution calls on the administration to develop and publish non-payment drop procedures that will offer clarity and facilitate an opportunity for the campus community to consider best practices for our university to complete and further its mission.
Whereas: 
Academic policies and procedures create opportunities for students and their families to consider, discuss and engage in financial planning; and
Whereas: 
Facilitating student finances is inextricably linked to the overall student experience, and the non-payment of tuition and fees drop process is critical element of the semesterly student experience; and
Whereas: 
Dropping students from enrollment in classes due to unpaid fees prior to the start of a semester, while a necessary part of charging tuition for attending classes, can pose serious challenges to students who experience unexpected delays in availability of funds. Navigating such challenges can be more difficult when students and their families do not have a clear understanding of the process involved; and
Whereas: 
The COVID-19 pandemic also prompted renewed interest on the part of administrators, students, faculty and staff in increasing transparency and clear communication concerning the non-payment drop process; and
Whereas: 
The campus community recognizes the exceptional consideration for students demonstrated by SF State’s President and cabinet in their decision to suspend the non-payment drop process in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 terms; and
Whereas: 
The Academic Senate of SF State recognizes the intricate nature of the non-payment drop process and the value of flexibility that facilitates coordination and collaboration between cabinet areas/departments, including but not limited to: Administration and Finance (Bursar’s Office); Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (Financial Aid Office, Registrar’s Office); to implement the non-payment drop process; and
Whereas: 
The campus community recognizes the institutional difficulties that students such as but not limited to international students and undocumented students face, and that the non-payment drop process can be particularly difficult to navigate due to residency or visa status; and
Whereas: 
The City of San Francisco being one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse cities in the United States where 1 in 3 residents of San Francisco is an immigrant, and at least 109 unique languages spoken1, and providing access to policies and procedures in a variety of languages will not only broaden and deepen student outreach and understanding, but the public facing use of multiple languages may also help increase student enrollment and lead to increased student retention; and
Whereas: 
The university administration, the Academic Senate of SF State, and the Associated Students of SF State remains committed to promoting equity and eliminating barriers to facilitate access to conversations and understanding; therefore be it
Resolved: 
That the Academic Senate of SF State acknowledges the university administration efforts to publish publicly accessible and clearly communicated non-payment drop procedures that articulates how drop eligibility is determined and expectations concerning communications before the Fall 2021 payment deadline; and be it further
Resolved: 
That the Academic Senate of SF State calls upon the university administration to establish a practice of sharing the summary preliminary and post-drop report information with the Academic Senate Executive Committee after the semester begins in an effort to maintain a space of thoughtful student experience discussions2; and be it further
Resolved: 
That the Academic Senate of SF State acknowledges and strongly encourages the continued efforts of the university administration in endeavoring to facilitate offering policies and procedures that affect the student experience in a variety of languages; and be it further
Resolved: 
That this resolution be sent to the President and Vice Presidents of SF State, the Directors of the Bursar’s Office, Office of Financial Aid, and the Registrar’s Office, the Associated Students of SF State, the California State Student Association, the Academic Senate of the California State University, and the Chancellor’s Office.