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Protests raised over tuition redirection
Friday, February 20, 2009

Students hold rally to protest cuts to SUNY

Dennis Hefner at rally
Above, Dennis Hefner explains the tuition redirection enforced on SUNY during a rally led by the Student Association.


Below, one student expresses her opinion.
Give us our money back

More photos from the rally


The Student Association held a rally to protest action taken recently that takes money paid by students for their tuition to SUNY universities and uses it to pay for other state services.

At the rally, State Senator Cathy Young, who voted against the resolution in Albany, pointed out that the state was essentially taking the money that students were borrowing for higher education and would be paying back with interest for years to come.

The troubling issue has been distressing students and SUNY officials across the state, and has led to protest rallies at some of the campuses, including Fredonia.

President Hefner recently explained the implications of the sweeping away of tuition revenues.

"Recently, the state legislature accepted Governor Paterson’s proposal to sweep 90% of the spring’s $310 tuition increase into state coffers. This additional cut means that SUNY state-operated campuses have incurred $275 million in cuts during the current academic year.

"This amount equals 18.3% of the state funding for SUNY state-operated campuses, and is in stark contrast to the zero cut to community colleges, the 6% cut to private university Bundy Aid, the 10% cut to CUNY 4-year campuses, and the zero cuts to the two largest parts of the state budget: Medicaid and K-12.

"As if this disparity is not enough, the Governor has proposed the sweeping of 80% of next year’s annualized tuition increase, placing an annual $40 million cut on IFR accounts, and instituting a tax on every externally-funded grant that SUNY brings into the state.

"These additional cuts would raise the total to nearly $400 million, and would represent a 25.3% cut for SUNY state-operated campuses over a two-year period."

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