Protesting students of the City University of New York are considering a proposal offered in court in an effort to end the occupation of buildings and Manhattan and Bronx community colleges. The deal proposed Wednesday would reportedly allow the students to continue their occupation of a small section of a building if they opened the rest for classes.
If accepted, the plan could serve as a model for efforts to regain control of the university system that serves 200,000 students - and where at least 11 of 21 campuses have been affected by protests of proposed tuition increases and budget cuts. Classes have been canceled at six of the colleges.
Due to the student occupation of buildings, classes were canceled this week at CUNY's Graduate School and University Center in midtown Manhattan, City College in Harlem, Manhattan C.C., Hostos C.C. in the Bronx, New York Technical College in Brooklyn, and York College in Queens.
Students also were reportedly occupying some buildings at Hunter College in Manhattan, Lehman College in the Bronx, Bronx C.C., Baruch College in Manhattan, and Queens College, but classes had not been affected.
The students are protesting a $500-a-year increase in tuition and a decline in state financial aid of $400 for some categories of needy students. The city univerity system provided free education until 1976 when a fiscal crisis forced CUNY to begin charging students.
The university has an open admissions policy, admitting all high school graduates whatever their grades, but that also is threatened by tuition hikes.
The $92 million cut in state aid proposed by Gov. Mario Cuomo in his quest for a balanced state budget would eliminate some classes, and tutoring and counseling services for marginal students.