colleges in Queens are well known for the high quality education available
at their campuses and for the numerous achievements of their distinguished
faculty and alumni.
Community College, highly regarded for its education programs with the
business community, has received State and federal support to establish a
business incubator program with opportunities for student internships and
College recently welcomed as its new president Robert L. Hampton, a
distinguished academic leader from the University of Maryland. The College
continues to expand its collaborative programs with organizations like the
Food and Drug Administration, which has its regional laboratory and office
building on the York campus.
College, praised by publications like the Princeton Review, Barron’s
Best Buys, and Time Magazine’s Top 500 Colleges, features a
remarkably diverse student population (representing 120 countries and
speaking 66 different languages), many of whom go on to receive
prestigious awards including Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowships,
National Hispanics Scholarships, and Harry S. Truman Scholarships.
Community College offers outstanding associate degree programs in 25
disciplines, including most recently Massage Therapy, Digital Art and
Design, and New Media Technology, as well as a new Honors/Scholars
program, on its beautiful 37-acre campus in Bayside.
School of Law, the nation’s only law school with the mission of training
law students for public service, has a clinical program that has been
ranked among the top ten in the country for a decade.
improvements have taken place despite the current economic downturn and
budgetary shortfalls at the State and City levels. Last month, CUNY’s
Board of Trustees approved its first tuition increase since 1995.
Rather than the $950 increase authorized by the State in its
budget, we kept the increase to $800 a year for full-time resident
students at our senior colleges, and $300 at our community colleges.
CUNY continues to help Queens residents realize their educational goals,
we have implemented a five-point program to assist students in identifying
ways to pay for their college education:
CUNY colleges offer more than 1,000 scholarships and special
programs to help defray the costs of attending college, in addition to
city, state and federal programs, including some that are geared
specifically to moderate-income families.
More than two-thirds of CUNY’s 160,000 undergraduates receive
awards, scholarships and financial aid. These opportunities, as well as
information on student loans and work-study, are listed on cuny.edu/financialaid.
are particularly encouraged that the New York City Council’s Peter F.
Vallone Academic Achievement Scholarships (named after the former Council
Speaker from Astoria) for high school graduates with a “B” average or
better have been fully restored. The City Council has also launched a $4.5
million “Safety Net” tuition assistance program providing additional
financial aid for currently enrolled and resident community college
students who face economic hardship due to the tuition increase.
We are deeply grateful to the leadership of the City Council and
the City administration for the priority they have placed on the need for
an educated workforce in New York City.
holds seminars throughout the year in all five boroughs that focus on
financial aid. The
public seminars – which are offered in Spanish, Chinese and Russian in
addition to English – are conducted by experts from the CUNY Office of
Financial Aid and include tips on filling out applications and monitoring
the status of the request after it has been filed.
For a schedule of seminars and more information, see cuny.edu/financialaid.
Interest Free Payment Plan.
To help students pay their tuition, CUNY has set up the TuitionPay
Monthly Payment Plan, managed by Academic Management Services Inc., which
allows students to pay their tuition interest-free in five monthly
installments. The only cost is a $30 enrollment fee. Students can sign up
by calling up tuitionpayenroll.com or by calling the toll-fee number
CUNY’s comprehensive jobs site – cuny.edu/studentjobs – gives
students access to hundreds of full-time and part-time listings for
metro-area positions in a variety of fields and skill levels. The site,
which consolidates job listings from CUNY’s 19 campuses as well as from
private companies and agencies in the metro area, also includes openings
that are available exclusively to CUNY students.
Free Online Career Guide.
This free service provides students with “Vault Guide” series
of materials that include valuable tips on resumes, cover letters,
industry overviews and much more.
Vault Guides also features 60 advice and guidebooks that have a
retail value of $1,000 if purchased separately. Students can access the
Vault Guide website by obtaining a password from their campus career
counseling office, or by visiting cuny.edu/studentjobs.
short, there has never been a better time for interested students to
explore the opportunities CUNY has to offer, by visiting one of the
websites listed above or calling 1-800-CUNY-YES.
In The Cathedral
The significance of the murder of Councilman James E. Davis lies both in the crime itself and the place where it was committed.
crime was the first killing of a New York City Council member in
anyone’s memory. The most notorious murder of a councilmember took place
in San Francisco on Nov. 27, 1978, when a former city supervisor, Dan
White, crawled through a basement window to avoid metal detectors, and
killed Mayor George Moscone and openly gay Councilmember Harvey Milk.
White, who had resigned as supervisor in protest of the passage of a gay
rights bill, was convicted on two counts of voluntary manslaughter and
sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison, an incredibly short
prison term for such a monstrous crime.
failure to convict on a double murder charge and the light sentence was
due in part to White’s lawyer pleading the Twinkie defense, bringing in
a psychiatrist to testify that White had eaten so much junk food that he
had suffered a major mood disorder and could not tell right from wrong.
White was paroled after five years and one month, and committed suicide 21
months later, in the garage of his wife’s home.
New York City, the last public official to be killed was former Brooklyn
State Senator Vander Beatty, who was shot to death in his campaign office
on August 30, 1990. Beatty, who had served two and a half years in prison
for election fraud and stealing anti-poverty funds, was slain by a retired
Corrections captain, Arthur Flournoy, who was said to be furious because
Beatty had recommended a lawyer to represent him in a dispute over money
with his estranged wife, which he lost.
the murder, Flournoy’s car was found stalled in a puddle a few blocks
from Beatty’s office. Flournoy fled to Chicago, and was arrested
there after a viewer recognized him on the TV show, “America’s Most
Wanted.” He was tried in Brooklyn in 1993, and acquitted because
the jurors found the evidence circumstantial. A Brooklyn judge had
previously ruled that evidence stating other people who saw Flournoy leave
the building and identified him from photographs as the killer was
inadmissible because the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office had not
notified the defense attorney soon enough. The New York Times, in a
story by Joseph P. Fried, quoted Flournoy’s attorney as saying “The
real killer is still out there.” That was a year before the O.J. Simpson
murder case, where that hypocritical phrase became nationally known. The
Beatty story is retold here not only because it deals with the murder of a
former elected official, but because it is relevant with regard to the
state of criminal justice today in New York State’s most populous
security lapse at City Hall was the result of a rational decision that
elected officials and their guests can enter without being searched for
weapons. No person can be blamed for a policy that made sense until
yesterday. What we have learned is that murderers or terrorists can
deceive elected officials and others, and, therefore, in the interest of
public safety, we should take no chances, even if it means delay and
inconvenience. Lesson learned.
a deranged person with a gun in City Hall could have attempted a
Columbine-type massacre of civilians – including the Mayor and the
Councilmembers – we must reduce risks. We are all grateful to the
brand new Detective Richard Burt who shot and killed the assassin,
imposing immediate capital punishment in the public interest. This
occurred one day after the execution of the brothers Hussein, who resisted
arrest in a house in Mosul. I think that Uday should have made his
14-year-old son surrender, rather than let him die in a gun battle.
But then, having seen the Terminator series, who knows what impact his
survival would have on future world events.
to New York . . . even if City Hall security were perfect, Askew could
have killed Davis anywhere else with a better chance of escaping, as
Flournoy did. On the other hand, if security had “magged” him,
and found the silver handgun, he would have been arrested and Davis would
have lived. As a former police officer, Davis himself was armed.
The practice in Federal court, however, is that even people who have
the right to carry guns (e.g. police officers) must check them near the
building entrance, unless they are assigned to security duties in the
tragic incident in a historic location will briefly give us the image of
Dodge City rather than New York. But this was an individual grudge-murder,
not random violence or stranger-murder, which should provide some comfort.
New York is still the safest large city in America, with one-third the
number of murders that we had before Mayor Giuliani took office in 1994.
bury the two dead men, one in honor and pride and the other in pity and
shame, life goes on, and, hopefully, City Hall will be off limits to those
who would take the lives of others.
Stern can be reached at: email@example.com
Michael Schenkler can be reached at: MSchenkler@QueensTribune.com