Shaw urges budget activism
In a Feb. 16 message to the campus community, Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw outlined his opposition to Governor George Pataki’s proposed budget cuts. The message is reprinted here as a service to the University.
As you may know, the governor’s budget proposal cuts Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grants by one third and reduces the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP), Direct Institutional (Bundy) Aid, and the Science and Technology Entry programs (STEP/C-STEP) by five percent. These devastating cuts mean students at Syracuse University will lose over $1 million in assistance for meeting college expenses.
Most devastating is the proposed cut in TAP funding. Although SU enrolls students from all over the country and world, 46 percent of students are from New York State. In the 2002-03 academic year, 4,238 students qualified for more than $7 million in TAP funding.
The Governor’s proposed budget plan is only a starting point; the budget has to be negotiated with the legislature. While the legislature has rejected a proposed change to TAP twice in recent years, we cannot count on the same result this year without fully engaging in advocacy. Now is the time for the SU community to share its perspective on this proposal with policymakers in Albany. Our affiliation with the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) makes it possible for us to join with other campuses across the state in a strong grassroots advocacy effort.
Using an electronic advocacy system, the process takes only minutes. To access the system, go to http://econstituent.votenet.com/cicu and follow instructions for sending an e-mail to state policymakers. Personal information will not be used for commercial purposes.
I urge you to use this method to e-mail Pataki and New York State legislators to let them know of your support for TAP. You may also customize your message to call for restorations to other programs such as the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP), and the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP).
Many voices are valuable-and necessary-in the effort to save student aid. Let your voice be heard. Thank you for participating in this important effort.