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Students rally in support of Maintenance of Effort bill at Alfred State

Printer-friendly version Posted Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 12:00

Looking to ensure the continuation of accessible, high-quality education at SUNY and CUNY schools, members of the SUNY Student Assembly recently gathered at Alfred State for a campaign event in support of the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) bill.

This legislation would require the state to cover any increases in mandated costs for the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY). SUNY and CUNY require increased funding every year to cover inflation of rent, energy, collective bargaining, and other mandatory operating costs.

With MOE in place, each year new funds would be added to SUNY and CUNY budgets to cover these inflationary increases. Budget stability would be restored, and the current generation of New Yorkers would have access to top-quality college education.

The MOE provision has been passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature. Within the next few months, the bill will either be vetoed or signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to become law.

Leading the way with a statewide petition initiative to draw attention and action to this issue has been the SUNY Student Assembly, whose Executive Committee recently visited Alfred State and held a campaign event at the college to increase awareness and support for MOE. Dozens of students, faculty and staff members, and friends of the college were present for the event.

SUNY Student Assembly President Marc Cohen, who was one of the event’s speakers, noted, “States across the country continue to limit their contributions to their states’ higher education systems, and raise tuition to make up for it. Signing (into law) Maintenance of Effort would send a powerful message nationwide about New York’s bipartisan commitment to public higher education.”

Alfred State Student Senate President Grant Tinker, an electrical engineering technology major from McGraw, said, “We are here today, united, to raise support for Maintenance of Effort, and to help students further their future, not just here, but across the entire SUNY and CUNY systems, as well.”

Alfred State Controller Joseph Greenthal mentioned that MOE is an attempt to legislatively allow Alfred State and its sister institutions to move their financial conversations to ones of promise and growth. This growth would include potential programs for students, increased support for classrooms and technology, and opportunities and experiences that will make graduates ideal candidates for careers in their fields.

“We pride ourselves on preparing students for what comes next, but our limitations become their limitations,” he said. “The passing of this legislation would allow us to set the bar high while providing the resources to surpass that bar. We are humbled to see so many people rally to this tremendous cause, and all we ask is that we be given the opportunity to prove that we possess the ability to make a meaningful difference.”

Alfred State student and Senior Representative for the SUNY Student Assembly Katherine Holmok (business administration, Prattsville) told the audience, “Together, we can convince Gov. Cuomo to sign this MOE provision, thereby ensuring generations of New Yorkers have access to top-quality college education.”

Those interested in viewing and/or signing the petition may visit http://sunysa.org/moe/.

Marc Cohen, president of the SUNY Student Assembly, speaks at Alfred State about the importance of the Maintenance of Effort bill.
Marc Cohen, president of the SUNY Student Assembly, speaks at Alfred State about the importance of the Maintenance of Effort bill.