Free and Quality CUNY

Governor Cuomo, the NYS Legislature, Mayor DeBlasio and the NYC Council to fully fund CUNY

CUNY is under attack as austerity budgets threaten to cut services and programs while increasing costs. As tuition and the cost of living rise, in a time when the economy increasingly demands a post-secondary education, CUNY becomes less accessible to those who wish to pursue education opportunities. Our families and communities thrive when we have vital career paths that are available to all students, regardless of their financial status or cultural background. Join us as we demand the rights that all CUNY students deserve.  

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To: Governor Cuomo, the NYS Legislature, Mayor DeBlasio and the NYC Council to fully fund CUNY
From: [Your Name]

We urge New York State and City policymakers to ensure that the City University of New York can provide both a free and quality higher education to all students. As more stakeholders call for free public higher education, we recognize that significant cuts in the CUNY budget over the past twenty years have threatened its capacity to provide an affordable and quality education. Serving students from primarily low- to middle-income families, immigrant and communities of color, CUNY acts as a powerful vehicle to advance racial and economic justice for millions of residents. At a time when compounding costs, reduced services and deteriorating buildings undermine student success, we believe students possess fundamental rights that must be obtained and defended. The CUNY Student Bill of Rights:

Free Public Higher Education
• Public universities should be free for all New Yorkers, through lower costs and increased need-based aid.
• Aid for books, class materials, transportation, food, child care, housing and other costs of attendance should be available to those who need it.

Quality Instruction
• Students should receive instruction from expert faculty who are reflective of the cultural composition of the student body.
• Faculty must be fairly compensated and must have workloads and class sizes that enable individualized student support.
• Full-time faculty need to teach a majority of courses and adjuncts should have secure positions and pay parity with their full-time colleagues.

Support to Aid Retention and Completion
• Academic advisers and mental health counselors should have manageable caseloads and sufficient resources.
• Opportunity programs that provide tutoring, guidance, and other holistic supports must expand to meet the needs of all who require them.

Safe and Modern Learning Environments in Good Repair
• Critical maintenance projects should be completed quickly to protect everyone’s health and safety.
• Maintenance staffing levels should be increased so minor repairs can be made efficiently.
• Facilities should be equipped with state-of-the-art technology that is updated regularly.
• New construction should expand classroom space and course offerings to prevent overcrowding and provide communal spaces for academic, cultural and social activities.