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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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SUNY Braces for Cuts as New York Budget Deadline Approaches

Students don’t need to wait anymore to find out this week if the state budget will in fact slash the funding for Stony Brook University, an unexpected tuition increase could also be unveiled.
As the March 31 deadline approaches, New York Gov.  Andrew Cuomo  is changing his budget, including some aid restorations proposed by the Legislature and a tuition increase proposed by the State University of New York.
Last Tuesday, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher requested the governor and the legislature to craft a five-year tuition plan that, according to the SUNY press release, “would provide a stable revenue source for SUNY in the face of reduced state support.”
Cuomo, who has previously rejected any tuition increase proposals, told reporters last week that “there is a lot of merit to the concept.”
The governor is also considering restoration to most of Stony Brook University Medical Center’s $55 million budget cut.
University Spokesperson Lauren Sheprow said that although the school is thankful for the senators and assemblymen who have been defending the restorations in the Legislature, “the budget battle is not over, and it is critical that full state funding be restored.”
Cuomo’s proposed budget aims to reduce New York’s $10 billion deficit through a deep spending cut, which includes the elimination of the entire state subsidy for all three SUNY teaching hospitals and a $12 million reduction on Stony Brook’s direct state funding.
Although the tuition increase plan has the support of the SUNY Student Assembly, the Undergraduate Student Government at Stony Brook has not taken any sides yet. Instead, it is currently conducting a survey on campus to determine the students’ opinions concerning a tuition increase, USG President Matthew Graham said.
Graham said if the governor’s “brutal” cuts become effective, students will notice immediate effects.
“They could end up having less face time with professors,” Graham said. “It affects how often the buses will run, how long buildings are open, [including] the SINC sites and even the gym, and the university is looking at what they’re going to cut next.”
Other direct consequences for students include larger classes, fewer class offerings and longer time to graduate, said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Whitestone).
“If our hospitals cannot quickly purchase the life-saving tools they need, if our campuses cannot provide our students with the educational tools they need in a timely manner, then we simply cannot do our jobs efficiently,” Zimpher said last month in defense

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