Outraged students created the International Student Caucus in response to the vote raising international and out-of-state tuition.
“I had no idea that was going on,” said Stellan Lange, Swedish international student and new member of the caucus.
Student Senate Parliamentarian Sebastian Rothstein will chair the caucus so students can gather, take a stand and have a voice. Rothstein said the purpose of the student caucus isn’t only to make City College a better place for international students, but for everyone, including locals. So far, there are 17 members, consisting of both international and American students.
The student caucus hopes to become as influential and prominent as the student senate so it can eventually have a say in forthcoming policies made by the Board of Trustees.
Lange said that he hadn’t found out about the vote to increase tuition until a month after it was passed. However, The Channels published a story the day after the decision was made to highlight the changes that were approved by the Board of Trustees.
Lange said he believes the situation could have been handled better with more communication between the board and the students.
Although, the student trustee that sits on the board was notified six days before the meeting that this change would be discussed. The student trustee’s job is to inform the student government, or voice of the students, about significant changes like this in advance.
In response to the increase in tuition, the student officers approved the International Student Caucus as a standing committee of the student senate.
“[International students] do everything they can just to pull through,” Rothstein said.
“This $500 is not only taking away from their tuition, it’s taking away from their standards of living. It’s taking away from the food they have on the table. It’s taking away from whether or not you can pay rent. This could literally put people on the street.”
Because they are just starting up, the role that students have in the caucus is to attend meetings and spread the word about the caucus. Their goal is to keep students informed and get them more involved in the decisions made on campus.
– Brooke Snow contributed to this story
Correction: April 28, 2017
This story was updated to include more background information.