On July 22, 2015, the University Student Senate joined the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), and Assemblywoman Debroah Glick, the sponsor of the bill in the State Assembly, in calling on Governor Cuomo to sign a bill that was passed by the state legislature requiring the state to fund all mandatory cost increases at both CUNY and SUNY. If signed into law, the bill would help cover the university's budget gaps that are typically shifted on to students through increased tuition fees, and would affirm the state's commitment in the success of our public institution of higher education.
Donavan Borington, USS Vice Chair For Fiscal Affairs, spoke at the press conference rally calling on Gov. Cuomo to sign the MOE bill. Vice Chair Borington said:
"On behalf of The City University of New York's University Student Senate and the over 274,000 degree-seeking students we represent, I'm here today to express our strong support for Bill A5370A-2015/S281A-2015, which requires the state to cover mandatory cost, such as fringe benefits as part of the maintenance of effort, and Bill A07388/S05217, establishing a robust five-year capital plan for the SUNY and CUNY systems.
USS Chairperson Joseph Awadjie in his letter to Governor Cuomo said,“I think we can agree that the students at CUNY have paid their share of incremental tuition fees over the past five years. As we enter the fifth and last year of planned incremental tuition increases, students deserve to see the state hold their end of the bargain by funding the cost we all thought would have been covered when the incremental tuition plan was adopted.”
Students are consumers of higher education which is why we haven't dropped out of college despite rising cost to attend in the past few years. Despite the challenges we face we have continued to make the financial investment in our education. However, students aren't the only benefactors of their consumption of higher education, New York State benefits through paid taxes from gained employment, the economy benefits through purchasing of power of revenue gained from employment and most importantly our communities benefit through service and philanthropy from skills acquired at our perspective universities.
Thank you Senator Laville and Assemblywoman Glick for leading the efforts to ensure student success. You and your colleagues in the state legislature understand how maintenance of effort funding play a critical role in economic prosperity. Now we ask Governor Cuomo to sign the bill which will advance the mission our nation's largest public institutions of higher learning to achieve the goal of providing accessible, affordable and quality education to millions."