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PSC joins national fight to ‘reclaim our schools’

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Showing campus disrepair

Students and PSC members around CUNY documented problems, including this discolored water from a drinking fountain.

PSC members joined students on October 6 in a national day of action, documenting ceiling leaks, cracked walls, brown water from drinking fountains and other evidence of physical neglect on CUNY campuses. The photos were shared on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ReclaimOurSchools.

Bathroom disrepair.
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The PSC said, “The physical disrepair at CUNY is only the tangible evidence of a deeper pattern of underinvestment. Adjusted for inflation, per-student state funding for CUNY senior colleges declined 14 percent from 2008 to 2015. The result of such disinvestment is that classes are overcrowded, the ratio of students to full-time faculty is far below acceptable levels, and facilities show the signs of endlessly deferred maintenance. Despite the heroic efforts of faculty, professional staff, maintenance staff and students, education suffers.”

NEEDED REPAIRS

Participants in the day of action tweeted out their photos.
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The PSC continued, “Tangles of wiring hanging from ceiling gashes, ceiling leaks with jury-rigged drip catches, broken windows, discolored drinking water and broken smoke detectors and fire alarm boxes were among the most disturbing images.”

Bronx Community College PSC Chapter Chair Sharon Utakis said, “Our local representatives in Albany and the City Council have helped make important investments in critical maintenance and capital improvements, but so many more repairs and upgrades are needed. Our hardworking staff do the best they can under the circumstances, but there are still so many things that need to be fixed after decades of neglect.”

This latest cyber campaign was the third of its kind nationally in collaboration with the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools. Activists took part in 200 cities across the United States on October 6.