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Press-Republican. (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) 1966-current, November 21, 1995, Image 5

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Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn88074101/1995-11-21/ed-1/seq-5/

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, TLjESDAY, I NOVEMBER 21,1995 i •'' ! ••••••HHiHM PAGE 5 PRESS-REPUBLICAN to N.Y/s private colleges By KENNETH LOVETT Ottawby News Service ALBANY - As officials here plan changes to make the massive SUNY system more effi- cient and less dependent on state aid, New York's 107 private col- leges and universities are asking, \What about us?\ New York is one of three or four states that directly sub- sidizes its private colleges. The system, which recognizes the in- fluence many of the schools have and the fact that most students who attend them are New York residents, has been in place for decades. Impact felt While SUNY campuses receive far more state aid, millions of dollars a year go to these schools and tens of thousands of their students. And like the SUNY colleges, the independents have seen a big drop in state support in recent years. In 1988, for example, the private colleges received a total of $111 million in direct operating aid. This year, they will get $35 million. By comparison, SUNY will receive more than $1.5 billion from the state. Students at the private col- leges are also getting less help from the Tuition Assistance Pro- gram. That's a $650 million fund that provides scholarships to those who cannot afford the full cost of tuition. New York students may apply for TAP aid, which is provided according to need and the annual budget provided by the Legislature. But because the TAP budget has not kept pace with private college tuition increases, stu- dents are finding themselves stretched thin. Average dropping Twenty years ago, for example, an eligible New York student might have as much as 60 per- cent of his or her tuition costs covered by TAP. Now the average is 28 percent. \TAP was designed to reduce the cost differential between the state university and city univer- sity systems and the independent sector so there would be balanced enrollment,\ said Teri Stan- dish-Kuon of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. \The program is not working the way it should.\ Many private college officials complain about the cuts and worry about the future. They say further reductions would put them at even more of a com- petitive disadvantage with the less expensive, heavily subsidiz- ed SUNY schools. Already, many classes at the state's private colleges are under- filled as students look for cheaper alternatives. This year, there more than 30,000 under- graduate slots available at private schools across the state, a vacancy rate of about 7 percent. This puts pressure on colleges which are not well endowed to raise tuition or cut programs and services to make up the slack. More scholarships offered And despite the fact that the average private college tuition is $10,000 higher than at a four- year SUNY college, a higher per- centage of students from minori- ty and low-income families at- tend these schools than SUNY colleges. That's because many of the privatfe schools are more ac- tive in recruiting and often have greater resources for scholar- ships. \The state university, despite what people think, is serving a much more affluent population,\ said Maureen Curtin, vice presi- dent of the Commission of In- dependent Colleges and Univer- sities. But in the current political climate, it's unlikely the state is going to boost aid to the indepen- dents. \The state has been generous in the past in helping out (private) colleges, but right now the state is faced with a deficit that could be over $3 billion while continuing an effort to shrink the size of government and make it less expensive,\ said Robert Bellafiore, spokesman for Gov. George Pataki. Must raise own funds This view is shared by at least some at the private colleges as SUNDAY An overall look at SUNY with a focus on the Crane School of Music at Potsdam State College. MONDAY Those who foot the bill for SUNY — average tax- payers — have their own ideas about SUNY. Also, a look at the mortuary- science program at Canton College of Technology. TODAY New York is cutting direct operating aid to the state's private colleges, too. WEDNESDAY More SUNY schools seek donations as an alternative to raising tuition. FRIDAY Geneseo State College may serve as a model for creating specialty campuses in the SUNY system. they face political realities. \Colleges both public and private, should be discussing how they can raise funds to meet the needs of the institution rather than how New York state will bail them out,\ said Timmian Massie of Marist College in Poughkeepsie. AP Photo Pat Buchanan speaks with reporters after a news con- ference about difficulties with state GOP primary rules. Buchanan: Primary system corrupt like Tammany Hall By MARC HUMBERT AP Political Writer Boats sail again for popular tourist attractions NEW YORK (AP). - The budget com- promise in Washington came just in time for one of the busiest weeks of the year at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. . Sightseers thronged to the popular attrac- tions on Monday after the temporary com- promise between the White House and Republicans allowed for the reopening of many federal operations, including parks. \We had planned to do other things, but when we heard it was open this morning, we came right on down. We were thrilled,\ said Sharon McDonald-Tiknis of Short Hills, N.J., who was with visiting relatives. The budget standoff had halted \non- essential\ federal operations for a week. The shutdown was a bitter disappointment for many tourists who said they had been robb- ed of a oHce-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Statue of Liberty and visit the museum at Ellis Island. Like McDonald-Tiknis, the tourists who arrived at Battery Park on lower Manhattan to buy tickets Monday morning felt lucky. Sylvie Bouye of LaRochelle, France, said she arrived in the city last Tuesday and had been calling every day since to see when Ellis Island would reopen. She's visited the landmark before and wanted to take her parents on a tour. \It's very important for my parents to see this. I love it, it's great,\ Bouye said. Arnold and Arlene Silverman, in town from Newport Beach, Calif., hoped to trace the arrival of Russian and Polish relatives, which can be done with help from museum records. \This is our last day, so we're very happy,\ Arlene Silverman said. Ozzie Rosa, a park ranger, said Monday's turnout was average but good, considering the shutdown. \It's going to be a busy week,\ he said. ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Republican presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan, calling New York's GOP ballot access rules \corrupt stumped across the state Monday in an attempt to drum up support to get on the March 7 primary ballot. \All we're asking is put Pat Buchanan's name on the ballot, we're not saying you've got to vote for me,\ the conservative former columnist explained in an interview. At a later news conference, Buchanan renewed his criticism of the complex rules for getting on the New York Republican presidential primary ballot. \It is a pristine example of Tammany Hall politics,\ he charged, equating current New York Republican leadership to the legendary New York City Democratic bosses who once con- trolled the state. In New York, the state's most powerful Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato and Gov. George Pataki, have lined up behind Senate Majority Bob Dole's candidacy. The near monolithic support of New York's GOP leaders has made it difficult for potential Dole challengers. Buchanan called on D'Amato, Pataki and Dole to open up the New York primary. Without that, Buchanan said any Dole victory in New York \is going to be deeply tarnished.\ Rikers guards face torture charge By RICK HAMPSON Associated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) - About a dozen city correction officers are expected to be indicted on charges that they tortured in- mates at the Rikers Island unit for the jail's most troublesome prisoners, the head of the guards union said Monday. Norman Seabrook, president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, said the charges were similar to those made in a civil suit filed four years ago by 15 inmates at the city jail. The investigation, which is being conducted by the city Department of Investigation and the FBI, centers on Rikers' Cen- tral Punitive Segregation Unit, which houses prisoners who have broken jail rules. The New York Post reported Monday that the FBI has been pressuring some officers to secretly record conversations with their colleagues. Joe Vali- quette, an FBI spokesman, said he could not even comment on whether an investigation was underway. In 1991 the Legal Aid Society filed a suit charging that officers beat inmates for little or no reason, and tried to make it seem like the inmates had been the aggressors. Some officers allegedly planted \throw-down weapons\ to frame prisoners. Upon arrival in the unit, in- mates were beaten as a sort of \initiation rite,\ according to the suit. Captains and other super- visors \either authorized beatings or failed to supervise CPSU staff in the face of a well- documented history of inmate abuse,\ according to the suit, which was amended in 1994 and is expected to go to trial next year. The suit named almost 70 cor- rection officers, 10 captains and various supervisors as defen- dants. John Boston, head of the Legal Aid Society's prisoners' rights unit, said the problem seems to have continued since the suit was filed. Acting Correction Commis- sioner Michael Jacobson has said he may move the unit to a better, more modern facility. Seabrook, the union president, said the investigators were chasing the wrong people. \They're making out these in- mates to be choir boys, which is ludicrous,\ he said. \Our members are patrolling the toughest precinct in New York.\ He said correction officers are assaulted by prisoners with everything from knives to feces. 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