Attorney Aaron Foldenauer is among several mayoral candidates who responded to The Envoy’s survey on CUNY policy. The following are Foldenauer’s raw answers to the survey. To read the article summarizing and explaining the mayoral candidates’ survey responses, click here.
1. What role do you believe the city and state should play in funding community colleges? Should such colleges be tuition-free?
I believe that community colleges should be tuition-free. However, due to the economic crisis the city and state now face, we cannot afford to waive community college tuition. We must restore the economy and get our fiscal house in order before we can make community college tuition-free.
2. What role do you believe the state should play in funding senior colleges? Should such colleges be tuition-free?
Even though Cuomo promised free tuition for certain individuals, our colleges and universities evaded those requirements by raising other costs, such as room and board. When I become Mayor, I would force college presidents to justify their spending. Our colleges and universities are spending more money on administrative costs while spending less money on the actual educational experience. This must stop because administrators are enriching themselves by forcing students and parents to bear enormous tuition bills and other expenses.
3. How would you expand job opportunities for CUNY students and graduates?
As we approach the post-COVID economy, the best way to give students opportunities is to create a series of classes on entrepreneurship. Many large businesses have been devastated by the pandemic and will be reducing head count. Given that fewer jobs will be available, this series on entrepreneurship would provide students with the tools they need to create their own businesses in the post-pandemic era.
4. Would you expand mental health and wellness funding and services for CUNY students? If so, how?
We must be creative given the budget crisis that our politicians have created. We should set up peer support groups led by alumni who are being trained as psychologists. Getting alumni involved in helping students with mental health issues will be an inexpensive way to engage them and assist those in need at CUNY.
5. How would you support CUNY students experiencing food and/or housing insecurity?
We must be creative given our current budget crisis. Alumni should be asked to donate money for the purpose of helping students experiencing food and housing insecurity. With respect to housing, we should partner with the real estate industry to convert underutilized office space to residential use for students in need.
6. How would you decide who to appoint to the CUNY board of trustees?
We need a balanced board of trustees at which all stakeholders are represented. I believe that appointees should be equally distributed among educators, entrepreneurs, licensed professionals such as doctors and lawyers, and recent CUNY graduates.