The CUNY Rising Alliance, the City University of New York Student Senate and the Professional Staff Congress held a militant, spirited rally in front of New York’s City Hall June 24. The de Blasio administration wants to cut $67 million from the city’s contribution to CUNY.
But as speakers Andrea Vásquez, executive vice president of the PSC; James Davis, president of the PSC; and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a CUNY alum, pointed out, the city is flush right now with federal COVID-19 relief funds. CUNY has urgent needs that must be addressed.
As a result of the pandemic disruptions, some students are desperate for mental health counseling and academic advising, which this city funding would provide.
Many students need remediation services and childcare, tutoring and CUNY Service Corps benefits. Some face food insecurity. It is hard to learn when you’re hungry.
There was general agreement among the speakers and people attending that public higher education should be free.