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Public Institutions: The Liberation of Black and Puerto Rican Students in the CUNY System The City University of New York system is funded by taxpayer dollars, meaning it is a public institution of higher education. Up until the 1970s, tuition at CUNY schools was free for New York City residents. However, Black and Puerto Rican students made up a disparate number of enrolled students at the senior colleges of the CUNY system. Two in particular are Brooklyn College and City College of New York (CCNY). In 1968, 96% of students enrolled at Brooklyn College were white. The W.E.B. DuBois Club and the Students for a Democratic Society occupied the register building to protest the lack of diversity in enrollment and curriculum at Brooklyn College and in May 1968. Brooklyn College administrators conceded that more minorities should be admitted to the university, but claimed that the lack of faculty willing to teach minority themed courses caused for the limited number of minority courses. Student leaders at Brooklyn College included Leroy Davis and Orlando Pile. Davis was a Panther, Marxist advocate and Malcolm X appreciator. Pile was from urban inner city Brooklyn. Together, the two leaders created the Black League of Afro-American Collegians (BLAC), which provided 18 demands to the administration of Brooklyn College. Demand 1 called for the admission of all Black and Puerto Rican students that applied to the college. Demand 2 urged for the creation of free tutorial program for these students that would allow provide underserved students with outlets that would help them become more successful students. Demand 13 demanded a special academic credit by created that would encourage students to conduct community service projects in Brookly... ... middle of paper ... ...of New York. The reforms of the CUNY system were not perfect. At City College, faculty members were laid off, class sizes grew, and tuition was imposed. More prevalent was the increase in minority of students at CCNY, but a decrease in the preparedness of these students. At Brooklyn, a large portion of the open admissions classes dropped out of the CUNY system by 1974. The number of remedial professor decreased and entrance requirements increased. By the 1990s, open admissions had been phased out of the CUNY system. Mayor Rudy Giuliani declared that policy to be a failure. However, critics of the system fail to understand that the issue with open admissions is not with the policy itself. Open admissions failed because inner city high schools in New York are not equipped with the necessary resources to prepare the students for the rigors of collegiate academics.

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