Three men and one woman were arrested during yesterday's spirited protests against the tuition hikes that were passed by the CUNY Board of Trustees. According to the NYPD, those arrested faced varying charges of reckless endangerment, harassment, and disorderly conduct outside a Baruch College building, where hundreds of protesters had gathered as the meeting itself became closed to the public. "Money does affect me," a CUNY sophomore tells Baruch's newspaper, the Ticker. "I have two jobs…Tuition is hard for me, I pay it by month and every dollar counts."
Compared to last week's violent clash between police and student protesters, yesterday's demonstrations were peaceful. However, there were complaints that the NYPD officers were harassing journalists, and that police on scooters needlessly rammed into protesters on the street.
According to CUNY's president, Matthew Goldstein, the tuition hikes—$300 a year for the next five years—were for "the protection of our faculty and staff from the kinds of layoffs that other public higher education systems have experienced in recent years." Other CUNY officials pointed out to the Wall Street Journal that the system is still accessible to low-income students, as 58% of full-time undergraduates are able to attend at no cost, and that their hands were tied by Albany's actions.
David Julian Guerrero, 25, lit his loan statement from Sallie Mae on fire during the demonstrations, and told the paper he has $77,000 in student loan debt, with only $45,000 representing the initial balance. "I'm accumulating interest every day, every month, every year."
AnimalNY shot video of one protester, David Suker, a UFT member, expressing his distaste for the CUNY Trustees' actions by waiting for them to exit the building.