Bronx Students React To CUNY Tuition Hikes
By Jason Bensaah
CUNY students protested against increasing tuition hikes outside Baruch College as the CUNY Board of Trustees met to discuss a plan to add $300 to their tuition per year for the next five years. Full-time CUNY undergraduate students pay a little over $5,000 per year for tuition. Fifteen CUNY students were arrested during the protest against the tuition hike.
A few college students from the Bronx voiced their opinions about the tuition hike. “Students might as well go to a SUNY school, pay $10,000 and get the whole college going away experience,” said Kristal Wilson, 20, a senior at Lehman College. “An additional $300 a year for the next five years, that’s an extra $1500. CUNY is defeating its purpose which was to be affordable.”
Where is the money going, asked Ian Carlos De La Cruz, 24. “In the last four years, all I’ve seen was a new café and equipment in the Multimedia Center in Lehman,” he said. “It’s not going to affect me since I graduate in the spring. Unfortunately for people like my brother, who is still on the road to success, it’s going to be even harder for him. To me I just see it as another roadblock to minorities and to the people that have low income, kicking them while they’re down.”
Undergraduate Irving Okang, 23 said he believes it is retaliation by the Board of Trustees. “Come on now, this is obviously punishment for Occupy Wall Street,” he sad. “People protest all over Manhattan, the CUNY Board of Trustees gets us back and raises our tuition by $300 per year. This had to be done on purpose to get us back for the rebellious protests that are going on.”
Ryan Jordan, 23, said the tuition hike had inspired him to take action. “I had a few friends that were at the protest last night and now I feel like I should join the Occupy Wall Street protest just to support the movement.”