Rapper Paperboy Prince is among several mayoral candidates who responded to The Envoy’s survey on CUNY policy. The following are Prince’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?
Public education must be free. Community colleges, such as BMCC, KCC, and LaGuardia, provide support to many New Yorkers and impact the lives of millions of people. Education is a universal public good that our city and state should provide to everyone as a free service.
2. What role do you believe the state should play in funding senior colleges? Should such colleges be tuition-free?
The state of New York must prioritize and take on a more active role in funding senior colleges. All public colleges should be tuition-free and maintained by increasing public funds, which should include more direct funding from Albany.
3. How would you expand job opportunities for CUNY students and graduates?
My core platform is to spread love, which would definitely manifest at CUNY in more job opportunities for students and graduates. Spreading love means making sure people are supported and have their needs met. Expanding job opportunities requires a holistic approach, making sure students know that we are invested in their success! As we rebuild the city’s economy, we’re going to rapidly expand public services to support the recovery efforts. There will be plenty of opportunities for CUNY students and graduates to intern and work full-time on these efforts, including expanding mental health services to help New Yorkers fully recover from the pandemic; love teams tasked with building up their communities; and green teams focused on cleaning up the city and transitioning the city to renewable energy. As we launch these initiatives, we’ll set up targeted outreach to the CUNY student bodies to connect them with these opportunities and more.
In addition, we’ll be clearing hurdles for small businesses and restaurants to come back, enabling students to find work and go into business for themselves more easily. Canceling commercial rent and making a market more conducive for entrepreneurs to get started will make it easier for everyone, including CUNY students, to chase the American dream, build their lives, and create new jobs.
4. Would you expand mental health and wellness funding and services for CUNY students? If so, how?
Yes, definitely. Students need individualized professional support that is free and accessible on campus. For some people, their college years will be remembered as the hardest times in their lives. The reality is students at CUNY face issues and endure hardships that take a toll on any person’s emotional wellbeing. From hunger and financial insecurity, to depression, addiction, and loneliness, college can be rough. We should hire more trained mental health providers that are versed in anti-racist and anti-ableist practices, so that receiving care is equitable and beneficial to all. With the help of my mayoral office, CUNY will make information on current mental health resources more accessible so that all students are empowered with knowledge of what tools are available to them at school. Lastly, I will challenge the practice of burdening students with service fee increases to pay for CUNY’s mental health services.
5. How would you support CUNY students experiencing food and/or housing insecurity?
My mayoral office will personally survey CUNY’s food pantries and offer solutions on how to improve amenities. I am passionate about making the process of retrieving food assistance a more enjoyable experience for all. This will be achieved by combating food insecurity stigmas, and encouraging student-led initiatives. I will enact better protections for vulnerable students living in dormitories, and also create more pathways for individuals to receive housing assistance. Further, my $2,000 per month Universal Basic Income program will give students freedom to determine the best solutions for their own unique circumstances.
6. How would you decide who to appoint to the CUNY board of trustees?
My mayoral office will review all student, staff, and faculty feedback on Board of Trustee and College President appointments. My appointments will apply democratic principles to each selection process, instead of the mainstream practice of allowing special interests and political favors to influence decision making. I will also be investigating the administration’s compliance with FOIL requests and New York’s open meeting laws, which are designed to promote transparency in CUNY management. Students are also encouraged to submit their own assessments of the Board Of Trustees and Presidents to my office.