March 1, 2011

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UUP takes budget battle to airwaves

UUP has launched a statewide ad campaign urging lawmakers to stop state budget cuts to SUNY and to “think ahead and invest in higher ed.” A 30-second television ad will air in major cities across New York beginning March 2.

The month-long effort will call on parents, students and the public to tell state legislators to reject proposed budget cuts to SUNY and restore funds to the University.

“State budget cuts to SUNY have and will continue to impact working New Yorkers and their families,” said President Phil Smith. “We must preserve funding for SUNY to keep the University affordable and accessible so students can have real opportunities to obtain a college education.”

The ad opens with a young man packing up his room, seemingly to head off to college. It soon becomes clear that he is leaving his dorm room, without his degree. The ad explains that millions in state budget cuts to SUNY have caused canceled courses, crowded classes and left fewer professors to teach more students. Now it will take the student five years, not four, to graduate—an added cost his family cannot afford.

“That’s a big problem,” the student says in the ad. “My folks, they didn’t count on paying for an extra year of college. And I didn’t count on leaving SUNY without a degree.”

The spot ends with the words “Tell state lawmakers: Stop SUNY budget cuts” and to “Think ahead, invest in higher ed.” Viewers are directed to (, where they can petition legislators to stop the proposed budget cuts to SUNY.

The ad will appear on broadcast and cable outlets in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, New York City and Syracuse, as well as on Long Island; it will air during morning and evening news hours and in prime time. Print ads that mirror the television spot will run in papers in those same markets.

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