Robert Pape chose UB because of its affordability, moderate distance from his home outside of Rochester and the breadth that the university offered.
During the five years that Pape spent at UB, he was editor-in-chief of the Spectrum student newspaper, in charge of communications for the undergraduate Student Association and elected as student representative to the UB Council.
“I’ve been sweet on UB 2020 from the start,” he relates. “Seeing the grand plan of building the campus, creating a center where more students can get a better education, accessibility for students at all income levels and integrating Buffalo proper and the University at Buffalo meant a lot to me.”
Pape notes that “student government leaders at UB time and time again have shown their unflinching support for UB 2020. The Student Assembly, which is the legislative student body of the SUNY system, has time and time again pushed for the same reforms that UB 2020 calls for in terms of rational tuition, in the flexibility that it would give UB and other university centers.”
As a member of the UB Council, Pape traveled to Albany in spring 2009 to demonstrate the need for reform. Media reports showed him spinning a roulette wheel, a symbol of the randomness of SUNY tuition hikes that have been levied on students by the state Legislature over the years to fill state budget gaps.
“Student money,” he notes, “is going to continue to be used to fill gaps in state budgets until enough legislators stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’”