NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some Columbia University students are vowing to ramp up a tuition strike.
Friday was the deadline for the university to respond to their demands for payments to be reduced by 10%.READ MORE: Juneteenth Celebrations Across New York City Take On New Meaning In 2021
But that didn’t happen.
“It’s not right. Don’t pay,” said Columbia University student Peter Cramer.
Tuition was due Friday for many Columbia University students, but some have drawn a line. More than 4,000 signatures are on a petition, and among those, several thousand explicitly promise to withhold the money.
“We are prepared to continue striking even if that means withholding tuition for the rest of the semester,” said student Taylor Walker.
Yearly undergraduate tuition can top $60,000 per student, and Columbia holds firm, even though Princeton, Georgetown and other institutions have agreed to cuts.
“Columbia has an endowment over $11 billion. And out of that endowment, it has about $300 million that it can use just for any emergency expense,” Walker said.
A small on-campus demonstration coincided with an all-day and night slate of online panel discussions, with protesting students, supportive faculty and guests.READ MORE: Man Allegedly Armed With Taser, Large Knife Arrested At Washington Square Park
“Solidarity to all the students that are organizing,” one woman said.
“Teaching a rising generation of people how to organize political skills,” said a man.
“Columbia has already started to give in to our demands,” Walker said.
Columbia University previously increased financial aid, waived late fees and Friday made a pledge about future investments.
“Just today, they’ve already announced that they’re committing to a full divestment of fossil fuels,” said student Chris Riotta.
But university sources tell CBS2 actions were in the works before students added them to the list of demands.
“The university does not hold any direct investments in publicly traded oil and gas companies, and is formalizing this policy of non-investment for the foreseeable future,” Columbia said in a statement.
That statement – which is held up as a win by student protest organizers – is explained away by the university as unrelated to the strike, which rolls on with the promise of more rallies and a possible student sit-in.MORE NEWS: NYPD Detective Injured In 2017 Vehicular Attack Honored At Islanders Game
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