At my local campus of BCC, we have recently experienced budget cuts across departments. This is no fault of BCC, nor is it unique to BCC. Across CUNY, institutions are experiencing cuts. This is a result of the lack of funding from our state government. When the state refuses to support our public institutions, who suffers the most, who is impacted? We, the students. It forces our colleges to recompense for their losses by increasing tuition. At an institution like BCC, and CUNY as a whole, where many of our students require financial assistance such as TAP, when tuition goes up and TAP stays the same, school’s budgets are hurt.
A great example of how students are affected by the lack of support from our state government is what has recently happened at BCC. Amongst the budget cuts, our library hours have been cut. Once again, this is not unique to BCC. Across CUNY, colleges are experiencing short library hours. It’s funny because when I was younger my mother would force my brother and I to go to the library. She would scream, and shout, and force us to go study when all we wanted to do was chill and relax. Yet, here we are today, screaming and shouting for access to the library–to be able to use the library past 5 o’clock on a Friday.
At the core of every academic institution, the library plays a significant role in student success. This wouldn’t fly at an institution such as Harvard or Columbia. How can we encourage a quality education, or 15 credits a semester/30 a year when students don’t have access to the library? This all stems from the lack of support from our state government. We’re not asking for the world, were just asking for access to the world.
I am a sophomore and currently a Liberal Arts major but I plan to become a police officer after I graduate. I’ve worked with the police for the last two years during the summer and it’s been a real eye opener for me because I barely see any black female police officers there, and that’s something I’d like to change.
Unfortunately, my plans suffered a setback this year. My GPA is too low to receive financial aid this semester, including the Excelsior Scholarship, but past semesters I did receive aid. Without the aid my family and I have been struggling to find a way to pay for school out of pocket. We now are living paycheck to paycheck, and even though there are a lot of things we would like to do, due to lack of funds we can no longer do them.
As a person who was not born in this country, I feel like the system is not set up in a way that enables me to succeed. For example, I’m doing poorly in my English 151 class and my professor tells me I don’t know how to write to an American standard, but then he doesn’t have the time to teach me how to correct it. A fully funded CUNY would mean that professors would be able to spend more time with each student, more student services would be available to help students like me improve skills like writing, and I could commit to being a full-time student without burdening myself or my family.
I am currently a Senior. When I decided that I wanted to major in art education I chose to come to SUNY New Paltz for their top rated art education program. Since the budget cuts it’s been nearly impossible for me to get all of the classes that I need in order to graduate. When I first transferred here there were so many more sections of classes offered. Making my schedule last semester was a nightmare because the classes I needed for my major and the classes I needed in order to fulfill my general education requirements conflicted in time slots. I had to repeat studio courses that I had already completed just to fulfill the requirements for my major. This semester I had the same experience. Not being able to take the studio courses in my concentration negatively impacts my educational development and my ability to teach in the future. I’m paying for a quality education but due to budget cuts out of my control, my education is being compromised.
I am a super senior at Hunter College majoring in philosophy. I personally have had to stay an extra year at Hunter College because I did not get one of the required courses I needed to graduate on time and now I must wait an extra year to graduate. As a result, I have run out of my TAP award because it only covers four years. I still get the Pell Grant, but now I must buy my textbooks and other living expenses out of pocket. Without enough classes available, without enough time with advisers to properly plan out our schedules, students suffer. I have had classmates offer me money to hold spots in coveted bio courses when I have earlier course registration than them, because there are not enough bio course seats available to accommodate students at **the** CUNY school for students majoring in the pre-health sciences. This is not acceptable. Students deserve better, money is owed to education. That is why Governor Cuomo must pass the MOE.
I am a first semester freshman at Bronx Community College from The Gambia looking to study International Relations. I have four children, and my wife and I are both in school and have to work to support our family. I drive a cab as a way to earn money. I wouldn’t be able to go to school without the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), the Pell Grant and the ASAP program.
I am planning to go to a four year college and am worried because I won’t have ASAP for my bachelors. I will continue to get Pell and TAP. But if NY isn’t giving secure funding for more course offerings, it is unclear if I’ll have the courses available to ensure that I graduate on time. Since I have a family to support, there is no way I will be able to afford to pay out of pocket if I run out of financial aid. This is why I we must have a Maintenance of Effort from our state government.