Your two articles on the City University of New York and Queens College offer an interesting contrast. While the cries of outrage come from our elected officials and educational activists over CUNY budget cuts, Queens College is spending $77 million to build an unneeded dormitory.
Queens College is at capacity and, as stated in your article, is needed more than ever in these "difficult economic conditions." Yet after 70 years as a successful commuter school, it is building the first of several dorms to appeal to students who would have gone to other colleges, including out-of-state students. Students lured by the "dorm experience," a nine-month sleep-away camp, will displace disadvantaged students who cannot afford that experience.
My community is adjacent to Queens College and has always supported it, but its mission statement no longer makes reference to its original mission. The campus has used the last of its developable land and will soon be pushing into our community. The legendary parking problems, formerly contained to commuter school hours, will now expand to late evenings and weekends. Noise will likewise expand.
Queens College and CUNY do not need dorms. They were meant for the students of working families. Queens College was not meant to be Harvard or Princeton, and if CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and Queens College President James Muyskens do not understand that, then it is time to say goodbye.
Folks living near Queens College vote and are calling on their elected officials to suspend CUNY funding until the institution returns to its mission of providing an affordable higher education to the sons and daughters of the city's struggling working families.
President, Flushing on the Hill Civic Association
©2008 Community News Group
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