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Student Council Passes Legislation to Cancel Student Loan Debt, Create a Wellness Break & Increase Tenant Rights Protection

Posted: 2021-03-25 20:49:50   Expiration: 2050-04-02 02:49:50

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Student Council Passes Legislation to Cancel Student Loan Debt, Create a Wellness Break & Increase Tenant Rights Protection

MADISON, WI — On Tuesday, the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) Student Council passed three pieces of legislation to further cancel student loan debt, create a wellness break for students, and increase tenant rights protection for students living near campus. All of these aim to help students mentally and financially during this difficult time.

ASM realizes that many students are struggling financially to pay their student loan debts and believes that the university has failed to alleviate the financial hardship of the student body. ASM moved to further cancel more of this debt, more specifically with the HEERF II (higher education emergency relief fund) recently allocated to the university. ASM demands that the university use all available HEERF II funds and student tuition dollars to cancel institutional student debt for students.

ASM also recognizes that the cancellation of spring break has led to a high rate of burnout among students. Other BIG10 universities have provided a new version of a spring break, but UW-Madison has not instituted a sufficient replacement. ASM requests that no homework or assignments be issued on the academic break dates to allow students a break for their wellbeing. ASM also further demands that more mental health resources be available to promote the wellbeing of students at this time.

Nominations Board Chair Lennox Owino, the primary sponsor of this legislation, expressed concern over student wellbeing: “I anticipate instructors empathizing with their students and realizing that most of them are worn out by the semester this far into it. The legislation that was passed by ASM should act as a representation of the many students who need to take a break from their academics and take care of their well-being and focus on their mental health. If the goal of the 3 day instructional break was to ensure that students focus on other things other than their academics, then it makes no sense to have them stress over assignments due on those dates.”

Lastly, ASM passed legislation to recommend that the Madison Common Council act upon legislation to further support tenant rights protection for students. This legislation should require that the written lease must identify the specific unit the residential tenant will occupy before the residential tenant signs the lease and must identify the lease start date and lease end date. When a lease requires the tenant to move in or out of the residential unit on a date other than the first or last day of the month, the amount of rent to be paid for the final month owed for the final month of rent must be prorated at the average daily rate for that month. This means that the tenant only pays for the actual number of days that occupancy is allowed. This provision applies to all leases, including leases requiring the last month of rent to be paid in advance. The requirements of this section may not be waived or modified by the parties to a residential lease. Finally, when a landlord and a tenant sign a residential lease for a term that is at least ten months, the landlord must not require the tenant to renew the lease until at least four months have passed since the tenant occupied the unit.

The next Student Council meeting will be next Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. via a Zoom meeting.


-- Associated Students of Madison: Jacob Broehm