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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Tuition Hike is Here to Stay

    The recent State University of New York’s tuition increase put a big hole in many students’ pockets, one that will only get bigger for semesters to come.

    The tuition increase comes after the SUNY Board of Trustees approved the 2009-2010 state budget request in November. Part of the approval included a new tuition policy, resulting in SUNY students paying an extra $310 for the spring semester — with more increases in the future.

    Governor Paterson said SUNY schools will keep the extra tuition money they receive, but for every $310, they will lose $279 in state aid, according to the State University of New York. The loss means that 90 percent of the tuition increase money goes to New York State and only 10 percent stays on SUNY campuses.

    Lauren Sheprow, of the office of media relations at Stony Brook, said the additional tuition money raised this year will be used to help address the state’s deficit. Next year, 80 percent of the new tuition will be used to reduce the deficit with campuses keeping 20 percent.

    Several protests regarding the tuition increase have already taken place on campuses, including SUNY Farmingdale, SUNY Old Westbury and Stony Brook.

    David Mazza, a freshman and blogger, states on his blog (http://davidmazza.net/blog) that the budget cuts are now affecting more SUNY students, which is increasing motivation.

    “We see a clear advantage today with the advances of the Internet and Facebook, as well as easy and free printing for posters,” Mazza said on his blog. “A massive number of people can now be made more aware of the event.”

    Sheprow said students can express any concerns they have about the tuition increase by writing to Governor Paterson and state lawmakers, such as their state senator and state assemblyman, or getting involved with the Undergraduate Student Government (USG).

    Jeffrey Akita, member of the USG Presidential Budget Committee, decides what should be and will be cut.

    “USG has increased its involvement in the decisions being made by the university,” Akita said. “My objective is to try and save as many classes, programs and departments as I possibly can.”

    Rukiya Symister, a junior at Stony Brook, said she is paying for school by herself and since the recession, it has been harder for her to get more hours at work to pay for school.

    “I understand that SUNY needs to raise tuition, but they should have given students ample time to make any necessary changes,” Symister said. “Taking out a student loan looks like it’s my only option.”

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