[taken from an email that has been circulated around to various student organizing groups]
A state Supreme Court judge signed a temporary restraining order blocking the $300 tuition increase passed by the Executive Committee of the CUNY Board of trustees “unless and until the Board of Trustees as a whole meets and takes action in accordance with the law.”
Judge Eileen Rakower ruled today in a lawsuit filed yesterday by three Lehman College students, Ateo Peruyero, OyeWale Badru and Francisca Villar, (Peruyero, et al. v. Board of Trustees, etc., et al. NY County Index No. 108549/2011) The students asked the court to nullify the tuition increase voted on by the CUNY Boardof Trustees Executive Committee on July 21st on the ground that state law requires the entire CUNY Board of Trustees to vote on any tuition increase and that this authority cannot be delegated to the Trustees’ Executive Committee.
Following oral arguments this morning by attorneys representing the students and CUNY the judge stated that the petitioners had shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim and that there would be irreparable harm if the court did not block the $300 tuition increase until the entire board of trustees could consider it.
The restraining order signed by Judge Rakower after a hearing this morning states:
‘Until this Petition is heard, Respondents are enjoined and restrained from:
(i) taking any action to implement the Tuition Resolution passed by Respondent Executive Committee on July 21, 2011, or
(ii) charging or collecting tuition in excess of the levels charged by CUNY during the spring 2011 academic term,
(iii) unless and until the board of trustees as a whole takes action in accordance with the law.”
Judge Rakower scheduled the next hearing on the case for Tuesday, August 30 at 11 AM in room 308 at IAS Part 15 of the State Supreme Court at 80 Centre Street in Manhattan.
The restraining order will be in effect until the next hearing date unless CUNY appeals the case.
If CUNY does not appeal, then CUNY cannot raise tuition until the trustees schedule an emergency meeting to consider the issue. Any meeting of the trustees would have to comply with the state Open Meetings Law.
I am grateful to all those who raised money so we could afford the filing fee and costs. We have received $310 so far and $260 more is pledged. At this point we will not need to pay an appellate fee since we got the TRO. However, I ordered a transcript of today’s proceedings and we will have more expenses if CUNY chooses to appeal the case.
Thanks again for your support that made today’s decision possible.
Ronald B. McGuire
c/o Mark Yu
75 Wall Street – Apt. 20J
New York, NY 10005