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Higher learning, lower maintenance: Students blast Brooklyn College for ramshackle campus

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Dozens of Brooklyn College students protested their school’s abysmal conditions on campus on March 12, joined by around 100 students from other schools in the City University of New York rallying at a rare open meeting of the system’s board of trustees at the Flatbush campus.

“At Brooklyn College the infrastructure is crumbling,” said Corrinne Greene, a junior studying theater. “I can’t overemphasize that.”

The students complained that they are sick of the missing ceiling tiles, broken bathrooms, and lack of adequate funding at Brooklyn College. Faculty agreed, slamming Gov. Cuomo’s budget, saying it cut funds to city, further squeezing the university system.

“We’ve suffered badly from the withdrawal of state funding,” said Brooklyn College biology teacher Peter Lipke to the board at the hearing. “Our beautiful campus is crumbling.”

The clock tower in the center of campus has come to symbolize the school’s failing infrastructure.

“Our gorgeous clock tower,” said Greene, “the symbol of our school, recently stopped functioning.”

The students have started social media campaigns to call attention to the dire conditions of the facilities, and the aptly named @cuny_brok­elyn_college Instagram account has more than 200 followers. There’s also a Facebook page called Fixing Brokelyn College.

The problems go beyond unabated asbestos, damaged walls, and out-of-order bathrooms, the students complain, extending to inadequate funding of the school’s programs. The music major who runs the Facebook page complains that many of the music professors are adjuncts only working part time, making it difficult to get help learning new pieces of music, for example.

“It’s ridiculous. I pay money to go this university, and they don’t have full-time staff, and I can’t go up to one of my teachers to ask for help,” said Allan Randall.

Construction of a new performing arts center has been pushed back many times over the past few years, according to Randall and Greene.

Students aren’t the only ones who lament conditions at the school. Brooklyn College itself admits the facilities are in need of a makeover.

“Most of the buildings at Brooklyn College are more than 50 years old, and are challenged by decades of deferred maintenance,” said a spokesman for the school.

The spokesman added that the school is working with the city and the state to make upgrades.

Greene said she believes Monday’s demonstration by students for across the city university system will make an impression on the board of trustees.

“I hope it’s a symbol to the board of trustees and shows we are mobilized together,” said Greene. “This has gone on way too long.”

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 1:14 am, March 13, 2018
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Reader feedback

Melvin Band from Sheepshead bay says:
How about some U tube videos of the falling apart of the campus along with pictures of the Board of trustees and other Brooklyn College officials and any and all elected officials who are all talk and no action. Students who are not registered to vote must register and vote out the do nothing elected officials.
March 14, 3:16 pm
Florence Nislow from Bensonhurst Brooklyn. says:
I attend wonderful Life Learning classes at Brooklyn; and graduated from Brooklyn. The women's bathrooms are a disgrace. I am disabled and the one stall with a rail is usually out of order. The bathrooms on the classroom floors have not been modernized since I started in the nineteen fifty's.The school's teachers and corriculum are still top notch. Governor Cuomo should give City Schools funding for intrastructure!
June 25, 5:18 am

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