Queens College students fight tuition hikes

By Scott Sieber

Politically conscious Queens College students who have enrolled in a New York Public Interest Research Group course petitioned classmates Wednesday to urge Gov. George Pataki to shelve a planned tuition hike.

They called on the governor to use his 30-day budget amendment period to recall a proposed tuition increase and to provide more aid through the Tuition Assistance Program in his higher education budget.

In his 2006-07 budget recommendations, Pataki proposed a $300 CUNY tuition hike, a $500 SUNY hike, additional annual tuition increases and a restructuring of the TAP program that would doll out less money to students earning fewer than 15 credits.

Students stood outside the cafeteria, with postage envelopes marked “Return to Sender,” saying the letters were the symbolic student response to Pataki's Executive Budget.

Donald Navarro, 28, a sophomore who works part time and takes a full class load for his double major in philosophy and political science, said the budget was proposed without the students in mind.

“Tuition hikes should be a last resort, not a first option,” he said.

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