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“Fund SUNY Now”: Rally in Cortland demands more out of Albany (audio)

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Afternoon showers forced yesterday’s (March 3) rally indoors at SUNY Cortland, where an event originally planned for the steps of Corey Union took place inside the building’s main function room.

Officials with United University Professions (UUP) joined dozens of students, faculty and community members inside Corey Union to call on more state funding that would fill an estimated $75M gap in the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

TAP helps SUNY students afford an education who wouldn’t otherwise be able to. SUNY Cortland allots $2.8 million each year to cover the TAP Gap, the 10th highest payout among SUNY’s 29 state-operated campuses.

One of those who spoke at the rally was Cortland County Legislator and State Assembly Candidate Beau Harbin, who represents the city district where the college’s main campus is located.

His wife is also chair of the SUNY Cortland English Department and a member of UUP.

Listen to Harbins full speech by below photo:

(WXHC Photo)

Speaking just before Harbin was one of his colleagues on the legislature, Susan Wilson, who’s also an Associate Professor in Therapeutic Recreation at the college.

Also addressing the room was UUP President Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D., who called on legislators to create new revenue streams for SUNY, such as enacting an enhanced Millionaires’ Tax, and a pied-a-terre tax.

“We have reached a point where this can’t continue,” Kowal said. “It is time to end this decade-long disinvestment in SUNY. The state has an obligation to provide necessary funding to allow our campuses and our hospitals to offer a quality, affordable, accessible education and world-class health care to all.”

The rally at SUNY Cortland was the latest in a series hosted by UUP over recent days at SUNY campuses across the state, including Buffalo State, New Paltz, Plattsburgh, Old Westbury and others.

“We cannot do more with less anymore,” said Jaclyn Pittsley, UUP’s Cortland Chapter president. “The state must make a real investment in our university system, and that starts with sending more money to SUNY and closing the TAP Gap.”


More photos from yesterday below from WXHC:

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