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Dear Members of the State Legislature,

I am a SUNY student and I speak for all 464,981 of us when I say that we cannot
afford any more cuts to our colleges and universities.

If New York State is to have the economic turnaround that it needs, we need to work
together to SparkSUNY. Help us put the spark of education back into the people
of New York. Help us spark our economy by providing quality higher education at
an affordable price. Help us spark research, service and communities through our
system of higher education.

New York State is in no doubt in serious financial trouble, but higher education must
not, and cannot, fall victim to the politics of scaling back. Access to higher education
is the key to economic revitalization and for some the only opportunity New
Yorkers have to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get back to work.

Members of the Legislature, if SUNY continues to be cut, we will lose our competitive
edge. The rising costs of higher education cannot be met if we are not supported
by the state. Our classroom sizes will increase, our programs will begin disappearing
and our students will leave SUNY in search of other colleges that will meet their

Members of the Legislature, last year alone SUNY’s budget was cut by $146
million dollars. Each campus had to decide where to cut back, whether it was a
teaching position, funding for research or services provided to students. Then Governor
Paterson issued an executive order to cut $90 million mid-year. On top of that,
you, the legislature, passed the Deficit Reduction Plan, which slashed an additional
$69.3 million from SUNY. When will it end?

Members of the Legislature, you raised our tuition bill last year by $610, only to
keep 90% of it for the state. Our campuses received pennies, while the state coffers

Members of the Legislature, the Govenor’s proposed budget slashes SUNY by an
additional $136.4 million, taking away from students’ education. Community college
students were hit especially hard with a mid-year reduction in support and now
face another cut of $285 per student, which won’t be covered by federal stimulus
money. If we continue to undermine student’s ability to access affordable higher
education, New York State’s workforce will be uneducated and under qualified.

Members of the Legislature, help us to SparkSUNY by securing the resources
SUNY needs to provide a quality education to all its students. Help SparkSUNY by
investing in the state’s best resource: Education.

Sincerely, The Petition Signers


Student Assembly of the State University of New York

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