BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Nearly a dozen SUNY campuses are urging lawmakers to invest in their students and increase state funding throughout its schools. Members of United University Professionals, along with students, are protesting what they say has been a decade of the state’s disinvestment in SUNY colleges and universities.
“Most individuals in New York state don’t realize how drastically underfunded SUNY is,” UUP Buffalo State Chapter President Fred Floss said.
School leaders say a big reason for that is the TAP gap. TAP offers aid to students up to a certain amount but has not kept up with rising tuition costs, leaving the universities and colleges to fill in the gaps.
“Over the last 8 years we haven’t seen a single dollar in increased state funding and that’s caused us to have to cut classes, not hire faculty and make it much harder for our students to actually graduate.” Floss said.
College students like Gaelle Jean-Baptiste are hoping rallies like the one held Tuesday at Buffalo State College brings them one step closer to changing the system.
“There’s other students that want to be involved and build their network and relationships throughout the campus but can’t because they have to be off campus making money,” Jean-Baptiste said. “That would take a very big weight off our shoulders. Honestly I think being able to cover our rent and tuition is probably one of the biggest things.”