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ASUM CANDIDATES ANNOUNCED 

Campaigning for the ASUM election began Monday, March 30. The deadline for senator campaign applications was pushed to April 5. ASUM will be holding a candidate forum April 8 on ZOOM, and elections will be held April 22 and 23 on the UMontana app. (SYDNEY AKRIDGE)


FIRST COVID-19 DEATHS REPORTED IN MONTANA

Montana had its first death related to COVID-19 Thursday, March 26, just after governor Steve Bullock announced the state’s emergency lockdown. The man from Libby was in his late 70’s and had just returned from California, according to the Missoulian’s reporting. As of March 30, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services reported 171 total confirmed cases in Montana and four deaths related to COVID-19. (SA)


LIBRARY OFFERING ETEXTBOOKS AND EBOOKS TO STUDENTS FOR FREE

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library is closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but several of its online resources are now free for UM students. Students can now access eTextbooks and eBooks via VitalSource, Cengage Unlimited, Macmillan Learning, the National Emergency Library, RedShelf and Texas Instruments for free during the global pandemic. Duedates for library item renewals and returns have also been extended until the end of the semester. (HELENA DORE)


STIMULUS PACKAGE PASSED IN HOUSE AND SENATE

Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package, which was signed by president Trump Friday, March 27. This is the largest stimulus package in U.S. history. The Internal Revenue Service will distribute the money to individuals, as well as small business loans. The full amount distributed to individuals will be $1,200 and an extra $500 for each child ages 16 and under. Distribution will depend on income. Single adults who make $75,000 or under, married couples that make a total of $150,000 or less, and adults who file taxes as head of household and earn $112,500 or less will receive the full amount. Anyone who is claimed as a dependent will not receive a payment. (SA)


HOUSING AND MEAL PLAN REFUNDS PROMISED TO STUDENTS LEAVING DORMS

UM Housing is offering students who left residence halls after March 12 partial refunds for housing and meal plans. Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian issued a memo on March 20 directing all Montana University System campuses to provide “prorated refunds, to the extent possible, for room and board to those students who have departed the residence halls and/or canceled meal plans based on recent guidance from the Montana University System regarding the COVID-19 situation.” According to UM Housing’s website, students who qualify for the refunds should submit a Resident Plans Survey, which was sent out to students’ emails on March 22. Once submitted, refund credits will take about a week to be processed, the website states. (HD)