A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York

The Splinter

The Splinter described itself as a supplement to The Advocate (the Graduate Center student newspaper) and a “space for the analysis of social environment.” Published in April 1991 Vol. 1 No. 2 of The Splinter featured editorials, book reviews, interviews, and analysis. Of particular interest was an article by Kate McCaffrey, “The On-going Lessons: A Brief History of Access and Tuition at CUNY,” and an interview with Stanley Aronowitz, “Closing Down?: Democracy, the GSUC, and the Open University”. Both the article and interview were concerned with holding CUNY accountable for its original mandate of offering free and open education to the citizens of New York. McCaffrey offered an analysis that demonstrated the historical connections between state and city funding, tuition imposition, unrealistic entrance requirements perpetuated as a method of maintaining income, and racial inequality. In light of the proposed state budget crisis of 1991, Aronowitz, a professor at the Graduate Center, had requested an interview to discuss the potential effect of cugts on the Graduate Center and what actions could and should be taken. He had heard several scenarios, one of which was to phase out the Graduate Center, which had been founded in 1964. Like McCaffrey, Aronowitz also based his arguments on the founding mission of CUNY (once known as the working-class Harvard), and argued that the social contract that CUNY had with the people of NYC was not a promise of upward mobility but rather the promise of equitable access to culture – one moored in a Deweyan belief in democratic education. He also emphasized the importance of preserving the Graduate Center as a place positioned to diversify the faculty across the CUNY system at large.

Source | McCaffrey, Katherine
Creators | Aronowitz, Stanley; McCaffrey, Kate
Date Created | April 1991 (Circa)
Rights | Copyright McCaffrey, Katherine
Item Type | Text (Newspaper / Magazine / Journal / Catalogue)
Cite This document | Aronowitz, Stanley and McCaffrey, Kate, “The Splinter,” CUNY Digital History Archive, accessed April 24, 2024,

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