The new report has students worrying about the college’s integrity by Anthony Viola

While the administration seems to be moving in a positive direction, the ghost of its past still haunts the City College of New York.

Although ex-president Lisa S. Coico has resigned, her alleged mistakes remain front and center. Two days after Coico’s resignaation, William C. Thompson Jr., the chairperson of the CUNY Board of Trustees, requested that the New York State Inspector General conduct an investigation of spending at all of the CUNY colleges. What it uncovered leaves students wondering if they can trust the institution that educates them.

This report goes in depth about what CUNY has failed to do and how it affects our student population. To start, it points out the illegal decision to not report misconduct to the Inspector General in the first place. Rather, CUNY hired outside investigators to look into these issues which was a “significant cost to the public.”

Many students have begun to lose faith. When freshman Taylor Burgos was selecting which school she’d be attending, she loved CCNY for its history and the quality of education she’d hope to receive. Now, she’s not sure if she can still believe those statements. “As CUNY students, this idea of academic integrity is drilled into our minds,” she says. “I find it quite ironic that the same institution is doing the exact opposite. It worries me that a university in which thousands of New York City’s youth depends on is being so secretive about its funding,” says Burgos.

The summary of the investigation takes a sharp look into the purpose of CUNY’s Presidential Discretionary Funds. These reserved finances are used to develop projects at the colleges. In other words, the fund is designed to benefit the whole college community, not to spend on personal goods for the president. Coico was criticized for abusing these funds for her own endeavors.

Moenise DaCosta-Allen, a junior in the Advertising and Public Relations program, believes that Coico and other executives have stolen the college’s honor.  “It’s up to us as students to rebuild that honor,” she states. “However, it’s up to the administration to lead by example and set the tone for City College’s determination to move forward.”

The interim report ends with recommendations for CUNY. The Inspector General and her staff suggest that CUNY implement a series of policies that would prevent this misuse from reoccurring. They also suggest centralized policies that add more checks on spending. Whatever necessary steps need to be taken, City College students want to go to a school they can be proud to graduate from. It’s up to CUNY and the new administration of CCNY to make this dream a reality.

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