Thursday, October 7, 2010

For More Information:
Dan Raymond (

In the face of ever-increasing budget cuts, tuition hikes, and privatization, Hunter
College and High School students protest the administration's complicity in the
attacks on their education

New York, NY- On October 7th, students, professors, adjunct professors, workers, and
community members from Hunter College and Hunter College High School will join the
National Day of Action to Defend Education by staging a die-in in front of Hunter West at
2:15pm to illustrate the very real effects the crippling budget cuts has had and will continue to
have on students', workers', and the community's lives. The targets are not just the state
legislators but also the Hunter administration that is anything but democratic and caters to the
same private interests that seek to undermine our education. At 4pm, the protesters will join
with a larger rally in Harlem at the State Building at 163rd W. 125th St with students, workers,
teachers, professors, adjunct professors, parents, and concerned community members to
demand a stop to the budget cuts, among other things.

These actions will occur in conjunction with strikes, rallies, walkouts, and other resistant
actions across the country planned for the October 7th National Day of Action to Defend
Education. Across the country, increasing attempts at complete privatization have become
blatantly clear. Students, workers, and our communities have continuously been the ones to
pay for an economic crisis created by the wealthy. Here in New York, budget cuts, tuition
hikes, and a tiered system in CUNY all work to undermine the ability of students to learn by
removing resources which facilitate learning, destroying the physical spaces in which we learn
through neglect. Meanwhile, workers' rights are being curtailed by cutting the pay, benefits
and job security of our professors and adjunct professors, as well as the school staff who are
overworked and underpaid. Tuition hikes push impoverished students, who are
disproportionately people of color, out of CUNY, and further solidify the false notion that
education is a privilege. And at Hunter College, the installation of $2 million turnstiles is the
physical manifestation of the neoliberal educational policies that say only certain people
should receive an education.

The attacks on public education have not ceased but are becoming more severe at this
time of prolonged economic crisis in the U.S. and around the world. This crisis and declining
federal, state and local revenues linked to the massive loss in jobs is being used as an excuse
to weaken or destroy teachers unions and to dismantle the public education system.
Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent to bail out financial institutions, wage wars and
build prisons and jails, yet we are told that there is no money to fund education. In New York,
the attacks on education include budget cuts, tuition hikes, layoffs, expanding class sizes, the
privatization of public schools through charter schools, attacks on unions, and cuts to student
services. Both gubernatorial candidates from both parties are projecting even deeper cut
backs for 2011/2012.

Protestors demand democratic, transparent and radical change within the university
system; a CUNY that is run and operated by the students, workers and members of the
community, as opposed to profit driven administrators, a CUNY that is free and open to all
regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, or
any other marker of difference. They demand an immediate end to all budget cuts and tuition
hikes, contracts for workers and adjuncts, transparency and socially responsible investment, a
cancellation of all student debt, and ultimately real democracy within CUNY.