When we hear “college debt crisis”, we usually think of student debt. But colleges and universities increasingly owe millions of dollars to private creditors and financial institutions as well. To keep the credit rankings high, college administrators prioritize debt payments at the expense of students, workers, and communities. CUNY is no exception. Public universities like CUNY are targets of austerity and predatory lending, and we are only starting to examine the impact of such chronic indebtedness. Debt is a racist tool of empire and capitalist extraction, whether it targets cities, nation-states, entire continents, or public institutions like CUNY.
So, what is the cost of CUNY’s debt? On Thursday April 15, at 2pm, our budget working group joins activists across the country for a national Debt Reveal Action. We will unveil our research on CUNY’s debt to staff, students, and faculty. The unveiling of CUNY’s institutional debt is the first step of grappling with its social and racial ramifications as we build an alternative vision of a People’s Budget and a People’s CUNY.
This event is co-organized by the CUNY Adjunct Project.