Since the coronavirus pandemic halted in-person learning, students have not only lost access to physical resources but also to programs that were once available for free on CUNY’s computers.
The most noticeable loss for students are Adobe Creative Cloud products, which were previously offered for all students remotely at no cost.
This is part of the continuous decline in educational quality at CUNY and other colleges across the United States.
Ever since the start of the pandemic, students have called for a decrease in tuition or the removal of fees because they are paying the same price for what is arguably a “lesser” education.
While it is understandably difficult for CUNY to respond to the budget deficit the pandemic caused, transparency around these fees would only serve to help.
Not having access to these programs at the start of the pandemic is an issue students would understand, but it has been a full year and still there is nothing for them to use.
CUNY must make a decision: be completely transparent about where the technology fee is going, give students access to these programs again or remove the fees they pay for have them.
Making those who may be struggling in the pandemic, as many students are, pay $125 for the technology fee is ridiculous.
According to CUNY’s website, the technology fee is “paid by each student to help improve computer services in the colleges.”
This explanation provides no direct answer to where exactly the money is going.
In addition to student fees and tuition, CUNY has received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid from both stimulus bills. It received $250 million from the CARES Act and had $118 million for students who needed assistance because of the pandemic.
While the stimulus and the technology fee may be going toward funding online classes, it is impossible to know since students are not receiving a clear answer.
If Baruch College or CUNY told students how this money is being spent and show that they are doing everything possible to give students an education similar to that of in-person learning, there would be no problem, but that has yet to happen.
Right now what students have are fees they pay without reason, lack of access to resources that they pay for and less from their college experience.