In November, a highly controversial policy that compromises free speech on CUNY campuses will be up for vote by the CUNY Board of Trustees. This Body is not representative of CUNY students or faculty in voice or vote. Over the last few years, they have passed numerous policies misaligned with the goal of the CUNY to provide affordable, high quality college education to the People of New York. Now, freedom of expression is in question. The proposed policy will significantly limit the ability of students and faculty to protest tuition hikes, curriculum changes, and more. Violation of this policy is subject to punishment, including disbandment form the institution as a whole.
The good news is that students, faculty and staff have been doing outstanding work rallying the community around these issues:
+ Currently, there are almost 1,00 signatures on a change.org petition. Please sign and share widely.
+ At the October meeting, the Doctoral Students’ Council unanimously passed a Resolution Against the “CUNY Policy on Expressive Activity”. Also, there are an number of events being organized on CUNY campuses.
+ Over the next three week, there are a number of events planned leading up to the November Board of Trustees Meeting.
What can you do?
CUNY students, faculty, and staff can play an invaluable role to join these upcoming events, sign the petition, share testimonies at the Nov 18 BoT public hearing, and build for the Nov 25 city-wide mobilization. On a chilling note, the potential passage of this “Policy on Expressive Activity” may send a message to all NYC schools to stifle our abilities to free speech, assembly, and exchange of materials. Please reply with how you can offer concrete support via events participation/arts materials/public writing/social media/flyering/campus & community outreach & mobilization/etc. CUNY folks urgently need your solidarity at this time.
Defense (N4-8) – 2 suspended CCNY student organizersare scheduled for disciplinary hearings on Friday, Nov 8th. There is a 9am rally, an hour before their hearings begin, at City College in front of the North Academic Center. More info here.
Education (N11-15) - Students/faculty teach-ins across CUNY (details/dates forthcoming), and several groups will co-host a “Take Back CUNY!”, 4-7pm, event on Friday, Nov 15 at the Graduate Center, RSVP and share.
Action (N18-22) – CUNY Board of Trustees 4pm public hearing on Monday, Nov 18, at Baruch College’s Vertical Campus.Students/faculty speak-outs across CUNY (details/dates forthcoming).
Monday, Nov 25, city-wide mobilization – Several CUNY student organizations, in dialogue with the PSC, are calling for a CUNY studentswalk-out/PSC members participation: Early afternoon rally outside CUNY Central offices on 42nd st, march to Madison Square Park for a NYC education convergence, march to Baruch College Vertical Campus for actions inside/outside Board of Trustees 4pm business meeting.