Students, community groups and unions launched a Citywide Day of Action on Wednesday, November 14 to demand that Albany and City Hall fully fund the City University of New York (CUNY) and expand programs shown to double graduation rates and save CUNY $6,500 per graduate. These programs—Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) and Accelerate Complete Engage (ACE)—offer smaller classes and better advisement, as well as free tuition, MetroCards and books.
The Day of Action was part of the Fund CUNY ASAP campaign organized by the CUNY Rising Alliance, a coalition of 33 organizations that fights for free and quality education at CUNY.
Timed to coincide with the CUNY Board of Trustees’ formulation of the University’s budget request to the State and City for the next fiscal year, the day featured petitioning blitzes on ten campuses in all five boroughs organized by NYPIRG, PSC chapters, CUNY Rising, and the CUNY University Student Senate.
The petition addressed to Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio demands that New York fully fund CUNY and make ASAP and ACE available to all CUNY students. Per-student State support for CUNY senior colleges declined by 18% between 2008 and 2018. And the State’s refusal to fund collective bargaining costs has forced colleges to cut their already reduced budgets for academic programs and student support. City and State funding for the CUNY community colleges has been increasing, but not nearly enough to support CUNY-wide ASAP-level investments in student success.