Around 50 students, staff, and faculty protested high tuition rates at the College of Staten Island Thursday. The group demanded free tuition, a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers, and an end to student loan debt. Organizers say they're angry since CUNY has increased tuition by $1500 dollars in the past five years — and recently proposed new tuition hikes.
"I cannot afford the tuition that we have now. Outstanding charges I had last semester, for the past year, ranging from $300 to $800, and I can't afford it," said student Zachary Glass.
"It's very inspiring to see our young people really standing up, fighting for public education and fighting for the broader community," said Professor Jay Arena.
The demonstration was a part of the "Million Student March" - a national day of action in which U.S. college students rally for tuition-free public colleges.
A CSI spokesperson has said:
"Ensuring the success of our students is a top priority. Seventy-six percent of our students graduate debt-free, and 60% attend with full financial aid packages, making their tuition at no cost to them. "