Students United for a Free CUNY
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 run the show. In our lifetimes, quality higher education continues to diminish as more classrooms become overcrowded, fewer 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 layoffs and attacks on their union benefits and quality.
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.
~~~Points of Unity~~~
I. Free CUNY for all- (see Mission Statement above)
II. Anti-Racism – We accept persons of all races, colors, ethnicities, nationalities etc; we also recognized people who lack a nation of their own and support them in their struggle for self-determination. We as a collective, leave an open space for discussions for any issue, grievances, criticisms and concerns on behalf of our fellow student organizers and those we claim to represent from within or without Students United for a Free CUNY.
III. Anti-Sexism- We discriminate against sexual harassment and gender bias that undermines a person of any sex. We encourage more courses on gender issues, as well as child care, and campus administrative assistance for student-parents or to-be parents of any sex. We recognize women as an oppressed majority, and condemn any violence against women.
IV. Pro-LGBTQI- We support and encourage the struggle of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual Tran-gender, and Intersex people for liberation from gender oppression. We denounce those who disregard or ignore the presence of political, social and economic rights of LGBTQI people.
V. Free our Political Prisoners! – Solidarity to those who have been arrested or incarcerated for Political activism or political activities that do not comply with the status quo of the State. This extends to students coming into confrontation by police, security or reactionary agitators. This also extends to those students/persons who have been arrested for some form of drug charges; for in the United States of America, incarceration for drug charges is unequally targets communities of people of color and those who are economically or socially underprivileged.
VI. Pro-Immigrant Rights- We believe that there is no such thing as an illegal human being. We recognize that the first immigrants to the U.S. came without passports, or Visa’s, but with guns. We challenge “American Exceptionalism” and identify that many people of developing nations are constantly being exploited and expropriated from their lands and resources, in particularly by U.S. “aid” groups, corporations and military or paramilitary means and/or interests.