Fallout has heated up over a new fee for all CCNY engineering students. The so-called excellence fee requires all Grove undergrads to pay an additional $300 a year divided into two payments of $150 a semester. This new fee falls on engineering students’ shoulders, just as a yearly $300 a year tuition hike ended. In 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “rational tuition plan” instituted a $150 semester surcharge for all CUNY and SUNY students. The rational tuition plan’s increase ends as the new Grove School charges take hold.
An “emergency” meeting on May 12 created even more confusion and anger over the surcharge. That meeting came two days after a meeting at the School of Engineering on May 10. At the emergency meeting, Felix Lam, Vice-President for Finance, reviewed City College’s budgetary situation and its relationship to the dwindling enrollment among the academic divisions of the college— information that was already known by most in attendance.
Students who attended the faculty senate gathering, believed that voting for the approval of the fee would take place. But those in attendance were left perplexed about what was actually accomplished by the end of the meeting. It was scheduled to last three hours, but ended after an hour — and what the “emergency” was was never made clear.