Spending Cuts Threaten
Long Island University Students
and administrators alike are fearful and angry about
recent state proposals to slash student financial aid programs.
days after the Governor proposed drastic reductions to student
aid, scores of Brooklyn Campus students descended on legislators
in Albany to demand support for vital funding. In the halls
of the state capital, they buttonholed dozens of assembly
and senate members, reminding them that students and their
families not only depend on higher education funding, but
that they vote and expect help from their representatives.
depend a lot on financial aid to help pay for my tuition,
said Katucia Ydore, a Brooklyn Campus sophomore who plans
to become a nurse. I vote and expect our state legislators
tohelp out with education funds. This cut would affect me
deeply, she said.
Gale Stevens Haynes, at a February 27 meeting of the state
Assemblys Brooklyn delegation, cautioned lawmakers
that proposed cuts threatened the education finances of
more than 10,000 Brooklyn Campus students.
cuts will have a disastrous impact on the lives of our students,
Provost Haynes said of proposals that include reducing funds
for Tuition Assistance Program grants by one-third, cutting
funds for the Higher Education Opportunity Program by one-half
and eliminating the Science and Technology Entry Programs
(STEP/C-STEP) and the Liberty Partnership Program.
typical Brooklyn Campus student is an African-American woman
in her mid-20s, often with a child, who works to support
herself while attending college. She receives funding from
HEOP or TAP or loans or all three, as she struggles to achieve
a better life for herself and her family. She is the person
who will be most directly affected by these cuts to education,
Provost Haynes said, adding, The saying, Educate
a man and you educate the individual educate a woman
and you educate a family, certainly applies here.
David J. Steinberg, in a message to the campus, said the
budget cuts disproportionately target education programs
and could total more than $7.1 million in lost assistance
for students at Long Island University.
education sustains the deepest cuts; no other area in the
proposed state budget takes a greater hit, President
Steinberg said in a statement posted to the University Web
site, www.liu.edu. He urged the community to e-mail messages
voicing support for student aid to Governor Pataki and state
legislators. (Easy links for e-mailing state officials are
available at www.liu.edu and at the Web site for the Commission
on Independent Colleges and Universities, www.cicu.org.)
Pataki proposed the cuts earlier this year as the state
struggles to balance its budget. At press time, state legislators
had not agreed on the new budget.