Here is a reprint of Myles Nixon's letter to The Virginian-Pilot, which was posted May 11

Monarch pride

As Old Dominion University's Student Government Association president, I am thankful for an administration that models a paradigm of putting students first, which can be seen in ODU's recent decision to freeze tuition and fees for the next academic year.

The global pandemic impacted college students across the globe, from the loss of jobs to increased anxiety about the unknown. ODU provided our student body with overwhelming support. The university did not hesitate to continue offering financial grants to those in need and opened a food pantry to help students facing food insecurity. ODU also directed coronavirus relief bill funding to students with the greatest need. The administration prioritized mental health awareness and supported us academically by instituting an extended pass/fail option for the spring 2020 semester.

President John R. Broderick and the Board of Visitors continued to support students by freezing tuition and mandatory fees for the 2021-22 school year. Broderick noted, "As a university that serves thousands of first-generation students and nearly 8,000 Pell-eligible students, cost is more than likely the No. 1 determinant in retaining our students."

I am proud that ODU acknowledges the long-term effects of this public health crisis and works to ensure that students are unencumbered. For these reasons and more, I am grateful to be part of the Monarch community, and I am humbled to serve as the student body president of an institution that is so student-focused in a commonwealth that values higher education.

Myles Nixon, Old Dominion University Student Government Association president, Portsmouth

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