News

May 8, 2012
 

CUNY at the Council Lobby Day

More articles by »
Written by: admin

A

lexis Jones, a Borough of Manhattan Community College student, just paid tuition for the fall semesterHowever, she fears she may not be able to stay in school because of tuition increases and the potential cutting of the daycare program she relies on.

“That would be tragic,” said Jones, a human service major and mother of a 1-year old.

Jones and more than 100 students, faculty and staff members gathered at City Hall on May 2 for the CUNY at the Council Lobby Day event. They attended meetings with 36 councilmembers, urging them to reject Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s budget proposal for CUNYs community colleges and restore funding to the schools.

The event was co-sponsored by the New York Public Interest Research Group, the University Student Senate and the Professional Staff Congress.

According to the groups’ platform, “Mayor Bloomberg’s flat-line budget for CUNY community colleges doesn’t account for enrollment increases, inflationary costs and devastating cuts to scholarships and other programs. His plan assumes a requested $300 tuition hike that many community college students cannot afford and it defunds council-supported initiatives that enrich the college experience and improve student success.”

The Safety Net program was defunded in 2009 and the same happened to The Vallone Scholarship in 2011. The programs provided critical funding to thousands of low-income students and were the only public-aid available to undocumented students.

The group urged councilmembers to provide funding that would support the addition of new full-time faculty and staff, enhanced equipment and improved facilities. They also asked for the restoration of defunded programs and the maintenance of surviving ones such as the Black Male Initiative, Murphy Institute for Worker Education and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies.

“The City Council has been a strong advocate for CUNY in years past,” said Francis Clark, PSC’s communications coordinator. “We would like the Council to step up even more this year to help the University rebuild after years of cuts and underfunding.”

After the $300 tuition hike, as part of the rational tuition plan, tuition and fees at CUNY community colleges will have increased by 212 percent since 1990-91, according to PSC’s Invest in CUNY community colleges informational booklet. 2011-12’s total expenses — amounting to $3, 946 — were 33 percent higher than the national average at two-year public colleges.

Despite the increase in student spending, city support has failed to keep up with enrollment growth. Overall support per full-time student has fallen 29.1 percent since 1990-91, according to the booklet.

Nicolas Guerrero, a Queens College freshman, remains optimistic about the effectiveness of the Lobby Day event.

“We need to do things like this, in a diplomatic way, so they can take us seriously,” he said.

Kate Pfordresher, PSC’s director of research and public policy, acknowledged that while the event was a successful first step, more should be done in order to hold councilmembers accountable for the support they pledged.

“In general, the councilmembers were responsive but more pressure will be needed for the mayor and Council to fully meet the coalition demands,” she said. “I would encourage Queens College students to contact the councilmember in the district where they live.”



About the Author

admin




Advertisement
 
 

 
 

City officials push for free MetroCard for CUNY students

Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, an alum of CUNY City College, knows first-hand about the challenges a student can face when financing the commute to and from college. Rodriguez is the chair of the transportation committee of ci...
by Eshelle Garnett
 

 
 
Photo by Brandon Jordan
Deep within Queens College lies a history full of activism and initiatives.

Reviewing Queens College Through the Ages

Queens College, nearly 80 years old, and continues to educate more and more students, both undergraduates and graduation, every year. The college was most recently ranked by Washington Monthly as second in the nation for the &#...
by Victor Hillegren
 

 
 
Photo by Brandon Jordan
Christopher Michael (right) explained to the students how a worker cooperative functions and its differences with a traditional firm.

Event highlights wonders of participatory budgeting and worker cooperatives

Worker cooperatives and participatory budgeting were major topics in the discussion hosted by Students on Democratic Alternatives on April 29 at the political science department. Queens College Professor Ron Hayduk, of the poli...
by Brandon Jordan
 

 

 
Photo by Christina Cardona
Cesar Millan stopped by Queens College on April 19 to an eager crowd.

Kupferberg Center Presents “Cesar Millan LIVE!” at Colden Auditorium

The renowned ‘Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Millan enlightened QC with his knowledge of canines and how to create happier and healthier human and dog relationships at his show Cesar Millan LIVE! The event was held on April 19 at Co...
by Christina Cardona
 

 
Advertisement
 
Photo courtesy of Michael Balestra
The women's softball came out swinging hard in its new season and got the ECC championship in the end.

QC softball team wins ECC championship after a decade

Queens College women’s softball team continued their strong season by bringing home the 2015 East Coast Conference championship on May 2. The Lady Knights defeated LIU Post 2-0. This championship is the teams first since 2001...
by Hans Themistode
 

 




Advertisement