NY Students Rising protests SUNY/CUNY funding, tuition

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It was a long afternoon at the Capitol for a few hundred members of New York Students Rising and community groups (including Occupy Albany), who demonstrated against tuition hikes, reductions in state funding in recent years and an increase in student debt for State University of New York and City University of New York students. They started with a rally at the Million Dollar Staircase, marched around the Capitol and then protested outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. Thirty-three people were arrested, according to legal observers working with the students.

“For years, we students have been pushed to the margins while the state has engaged in gimmicks like NYSUNY 2020 at our expense,” the group said in a news release, referring to legislation adopted last year that increases State University of New York tuition $300 annual for five years for undergraduate students. “Tuition and student-loan debt has increased while we have seen a decrease in both the quality and variety of our education and an utter lack of accountability for our administrators.”

Demonstrators made their presence known through loud chants throughout the afternoon, such as “No ifs, no buts, no education cuts” and “I believe that we will win.” Signs they brought with them said things like “Education is a right” and “Stop making students pay more for less.”

Jimmy Swan, 22, who attended Binghamton University, said top administrators are getting “six-figure salaries” while other staffers and adjunct professors are struggling.

“They have low salaries and they’re struggling,” he said.

State Police starting releasing the people who had been arrested about 7 p.m. in the concourse of the Empire State Plaza. Major William Sprague said they were all charged with disorderly conduct. If they had identification on them and didn’t resist arrest or cause problems, they would be released with an appearance ticket. Everyone complied with the police during the arrests and processing, he said.

This is video from the Million Dollar Staircase rally:

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  1. 1. SUNY funds should not be used for business development — what protections are there to prevent graft.

    2. Illegal aliens should not be allowed instate tuition. Legal grads have enough trouble getting jobs.