OPEN LETTER REGARDING NOVEMBER 28th RALLY

Dear Allies:

Students United for a Free CUNY is having a rally on Monday, November 28 at 4pm. We are meeting at Baruch College (East 24th Street and Lexington).

This rally is in response to a couple of things. First, the vicious attack of CUNY students by CUNY public safety officers at the Baruch campus on Monday, November 22, 2011. We demand the immediate resignation of both Chancellor Goldstein, as well as, the Head of Public Safety. Second, addressing the reason students were at Baruch on the 22nd in the first place, which was the outrageous way the Board of Trustees continues to run CUNY like a financial institution rather than an educational institution. They make tuition increases over the summer knowing many students are not on campus, they continue to increase tuition, while cutting, resources (closing libraries, writing centers, etc), they have public meetings where students and faculty are denied admittance, then are beaten for attempting to peacefully assemble and have a voice.

Students United Mission Statement is as follows: CUNY was an institution originally founded on the principle that every person has a right to excellent and accessible free higher- education. Unfortunately this came to a halt in the late 70’s when New York State instituted tuition on a public service that before was considered a right. Moreover, it was no coincidence that tuition was instituted in the same year that the incoming freshmen students where a majority people of color. Ever since then, the opportunity that was allowed to underprivileged people of the working class has been carefully, slowly, subject to cuts by those who have assumed control over our education. In our lifetimes, quality higher education continues to diminish as more classrooms become overcrowded, less services are offered to students, the deterioration of our campuses becomes more and more evident, and those who educate us and maintain and run our campuses’ day to day activities, (Faculty and Workers) face attacks on their union benefits and layoffs. This concerted attack on the working class and underprivileged by those who own and run the show will continue at a rapid rate unless we organize, educate and empower ourselves to fight and take back those opportunities won for us by former CUNY students. It has been done before and can still be done today! Students United for a Free CUNY is a Student led, Student organized, multi-campus collective of those who struggle to see a Free and Excellent CUNY once again.

We often hear about the gentrification of neighborhoods, but that is what is going on at CUNY: the gentrification of our education. Mark Torres (City College Alumnus) wrote this about the gentrification of CUNY: “…part of this gentrification plan has included imposing tuition (CUNY was free from 1847 until the 1970s when People of Color became the majority) and constantly raising tuition, underfunding CUNY, eliminating open admissions, using waiting lists to dissuade people from entering CUNY, making the application process more difficult, segregating primarily Black and Latino students into Community Colleges, underfunding and disbanding Black, Latino, Asian and Women Studies Departments and downgrading them to programs, recruiting European-American students to the Senior Colleges with scholarships and building dorms for them, and by creating a police state on campus that on a daily basis harasses and attempts to deny students their rights to free speech and assembly..”

We are not going to give up our right to higher education. Follow our progress and please visit our blog at: studentsunitedforafreecuny.wordpress.com.

We hope you will circulate this to your networks, and help support us in our continued struggle demanding access to excellent FREE higher education for every CUNY student.

Peace and Solidarity,

Students United for a Free CUNY
studentsunitedforafreecuny@gmail.com

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2 comments on “OPEN LETTER REGARDING NOVEMBER 28th RALLY

  1. Catherine Lavender says:

    PSC-CUNY will stand with you in defense of your rights of expression and your safety.

    http://www.psc-cuny.org/latest-news/defense-cuny-students-informational-picket-and-demonstration-baruch-monday-nov-28

  2. Robert Stein says:

    The Lamb’s (us) need to be kept in Silence. The Research Foundation (CUNY/SUNY) needs to be held accountable for the tuition hikes while allowing wasteful spending and false reports where overstating numbers is known and allowed on campus.…
    Listening to the “Whistles” that do the right thing will balance the budget and save the trillions the super committee needs to continue spending”—having interviewed a dozen people and reviewed the FOIA and WEBMQS reports….To understand these Grey areas of “partnership funding” that combines the Federal Government and how they deal with the small business community—our “backbone” in partnership with Academic Campuses under the guise of the Research Foundation paid for by the taxpayer and the students is why “honesty and transparency” on campuses is feared and needed to be kept in silence by the administration.
    I wish it ended with Penn State and Syracuse regarding those that know when it comes to the financial future of this country, and tuition increases…..Our Attorney General who in addition to the high powered attorneys at CUNY/SUNY also represents our public campuses, has yet to dismiss the merits of these cases, but rather seeks loopholes to silence what cannot be denied when it comes to corruption. “Our current political culture does not reward results”—written by Scott Faulkner, and he is so right as administration allows the continued rape of this economy based on absolute and FOIOA and WEBMQS failure as outlined in Government reports—where the business community, taxpayers and students pay the price—Jobs Created/Jobs Saved was but one of our mandates…..but how we use key words such as Business Assistance, Jobs, Stimulus, Veteran’s and Minorities when funding is needed and placed in the wrong hands, now adds the word Homeless to these key funding words and in the wrong hands—take a long look at our economy and the ego’s and personal greed that have replaced honesty and accountability in our country, as administration knows and approves.
    We need proper support for our “economic backbone” not the lies and false reports where 50% of these so-called economic campus organizations that increase tuition are not needed, but receive funding for their no-show and “sometimes” work efforts geared for themselves, and the accomplishments do not justify their “ 100% increased” paychecks and out of control spending that reflect 40% less actual accomplishment—as failure is rewarded in these government/city funded offices. 25-40% tuition increases for whom?
    Robert Stein
    718-715-2902
    “The Economic Rape of our Country”—Time to OCCUPY ALL STREETS that allow corruption and Greed.

    An open letter for all to understand.

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