Dear Stuart Rabinowitz,
It is long past time we acknowledged that, in spite of Hofstra’s already exorbitant price tag, you are actively dedicated to cheating your students and capitalizing on their basic needs.
Hofstra University has consistently skimped on providing necessary student services whenever and wherever it can in order to turn a profit.
Firstly, we have observed that our university’s mental health care has long failed to meet basic standards of affordability, access and quality. To use a common example: Several of our members quickly ran through their three free therapy sessions at the Saltzman Center and others who could afford to pay for additional sessions were cut off from needed services after the maximum number of appointments – 10.
How many other students do you think have suffered as a result of this policy? Moreover, how many students have found their mental health needs insufficiently met by graduate student therapists who are underpaid and overworked?
We are far from being the only students to complain about the 10-appointment limit. Perhaps if you hired more professional therapists, you wouldn’t have to limit the number of appointments a student can have.
Perhaps if you fairly compensated graduate students for their work and provided them with more reasonable conditions, the strain placed on graduate workers and undergraduate patients would decrease.
Perhaps if you hired more professional LGBTQ+ therapists and therapists of color, students from said groups would feel more comfortable seeking out the mental health care that is their right. Perhaps if Hofstra made an earnest effort to safeguard the health of its students, its students would be healthier and happier. Perhaps.
Secondly, news of dramatic increases to on-campus housing prices is quickly circulating. With recent price hikes in both safety deposits and housing fees, you are not only chasing students off campus, but are also encouraging local landlords to raise their prices for student tenants.
Many such students are willing to pay increased off-campus rent simply to avoid the obscene prices of on-campus living spaces, many of which have gone without necessary renovations.
To address a third and final issue, we are deeply disappointed by the wages you pay your student employees.
You charge your students so much for their education that they’ll be in debt for years to come, and choose to endanger their futures further by refusing to pay the state minimum wage so they can more comfortably afford this overpriced school. Like all workers, student workers deserve to receive the fruits of their labor.
We, the members of the Hofstra Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA), demand that the mental health services on campus improve. Most universities of this size offer free mental health care to their students, and properly staff their facilities. Hofstra’s negligence towards this matter is a disgrace.
We encourage fellow students who are frustrated with Hofstra’s financial predation to join us in refusing to accept these unjust policies.
If we stand together, we can hold our administration accountable to us, the students, and make Hofstra a more empathetic place to learn and grow.
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