CUNY Students and Unions Protest as Board of Trustees Passes Tuition Hike

CUNY protests 25th lex.jpg
Nick Pinto
CUNY students held a rally outside of Baruch College today as the board of trustees met to vote on proposed tuition hikes. The NYPD set up barricades and the school cancelled afternoon classes in anticipation of the protest, which attracted several hundred people including a large union contingent and a sprinkling of recognizable Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Despite the protesters' efforts, the CUNY board of trustees voted 15 to 1 to raise tuition. The hikes will raise the price of tuition by $300 annually, a 31 percent increase over four years.

A march from Madison Square Park to Kent Plaza began this afternoon around 3:30. The rally began in earnest at Kent Plaza around 4:30 as a series of speakers addressed the crowd, including Baruch faculty member Conor Tomas Reed.

"We are here because CUNY is in a crisis," Reed said. "The board of trustees are the who's who of corporate New York, the privatization of education, and all-around nasty people."

conor tomas reed CUNY rally.jpg
Nick Pinto
Protesters, including Conor Tomas Reed on the left, outside Baruch College.

At least two city councilmen -- Ydanis Rodriguez of Washington Heights and Charles Barron of East New York -- were in attendance. Barron addressed the crowd twice.

"They say they're broke," Barron said, referring to CUNY. "I want to be that kind of broke." Barron also described the tuition hikes as "racist" and said that "when CUNY was white, tuition was free."

The rally was at times dominated by the union presence, which included the Transit Workers' Union, the Communication Workers of America, and United Auto Workers. Union representatives led "Union power / Workers power!" chants, and the number of labor signs rivaled the number of student signs.

At nearly a quarter to six, protesters organized a short march down Lexington Avenue shepherded by a medium-heavy NYPD presence and returned to the plaza later. We've heard reports of four arrests during the demonstration.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.



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4 comments
Tsmith436
Tsmith436

Charles Barron does not offer the students of CUNY any real leadership, and nor do his A.N.S.W.E.R. backers. He is a Democrat, and so are they, and what they are pushing--with their calls for "making the Board of Trustees more representative," and "Bail out the people"--is Democratic Party style reformism. Look at internationalist.org for some real ideas about how to deal with the fatcat Board of Trustees as well as Wall Street.

Jason Howard
Jason Howard

Thanks for sharing the info here, it is useful to me. thanks again.

Mary
Mary

“Banks got bailed out, students got sold out”…..This goes to show these kids do not have a clue as to how business works. Wall Street had nothing to do with the increased tuition. They want free education, they can have it anytime they want. With a library card, they can get the same education as a Harvard student. You just have to want it bad enough.

http://bit.ly/s2dzGl

Mary
Mary

The rise in College tuition has been ridiculous and worthy of dissent,  This has NOTHING to do with banks. The OWS idiots are calling for free college from big brother.

http://bit.ly/s2dzGl

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