Photo courtesy PSC-CUNY
In their fight to save CUNY from further financial doom, hundreds of more student groups have joined a statewide letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Legislature in hope to make college, let alone CUNY, more affordable.
This week, the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) unveiled a list of over 350 student groups and organizations, including CCNY’s Cheerleading team and the Psychology Student Association, calling on New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo to increase state aid to CUNY and SUNY, reject an extension of the “rational tuition” hikes and to freeze tuition going forward at the rates of the 2015-16 academic year.
“As New York has cut its investment in public higher education, students have been forced to pick up the tab,” NYPIRG Chairman and SUNY Buffalo State studen Alex Bornemisza said. “Hundreds of student groups from Buffalo to Long Island have joined together to say enough is enough. With New York slated to end the year in a surplus, the final budget must freeze tuition and fully fund SUNY and CUNY.”
This year, New York Assembly and Senate budget proposals have prioritized the fight to save public higher education by including a tuition freeze and a Maintenance of Effort (MOE) provision to start to provide stable funding for CUNY and SUNY schools. The Assembly’s proposal went a step further by fully restoring the $485 million funding cut included in the Executive Budget.
Governor Cuomo shifted $485 million from CUNY, specifically, in his Executive Budget. If there’s no source of revenue to replace that funding, it becomes a cut. Although state funding for both SUNY and CUNY has been flat and steady for the past few years, the costs to maintain services for both have went up nearly $200 million. New York state made up the difference using tuition money, shifting the struggle from the state to the families of those who attended the colleges.
CCNY has felt the affects of the CUNY financial struggle all year so far, from overcrowded classrooms to a poor maintained campus — constantly broken escalators, possibility of asbestos in the walls and numerous leaks throughout campus.
“Being a college student in current times is exhausting in almost every aspect,” CCNY Vice President of Public Affairs Tammie David said.
“In almost every representation of typical college life, we are construed as poor and overworked — but now this is true more than ever. Many of us attending CUNY already work to be able to afford food, the Metrocards that take us to our classes and jobs, and struggle to pay their rent or their share of bills.
“So our question to the politicians claiming to represent us with our “best interests” at heart is why?”