N Y U DISORIENTATION G U I D E FALL
W E L C O M E
N Y U !
The guide you’re holding was made by a group of NYU student activists of varying political perspectives. Our purpose here is to introduce incoming students to their new school in a way that cuts against the University’s Welcome Week programs. We hope to provide you with an understanding of what NYU is, what it does, and where to go if you want to change it.
In this guide, we focus on the most destructive things NYU either perpetuates or is complicit with. We hope these articles will lead to discussion about the University as an institution: its status as the generator of more student debt than any other non-profit university in the country; the ruthless exploitation and labor abuse that produced NYU’s imperial projects in Abu Dhabi, Tel Aviv, and around the world (“The Global Network University”); the massively expensive and frivolous NYU 2031 expansion project; its Board of Trustees, comprised almost entirely of businesspeople, lawyers, real estate moguls, and literal Trump advisors, at the expense of students or faculty; the startling gap between the salary and working conditionsof graduate students and adjunct faculty on the ground teaching and those at the top of Bobst raking in the cash; and the University’s myriad racist, Zionist, and homophobic policies. Despite the diversity of its content, this guide has a few broad themes that unite many of the articles: NYU behaving like a multi-national corporation and 21st century colonial power, entrenching white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy with institutionalized violence, and enslaving its students with backbreaking debt. We seek to defamiliarize NYU by exposing the power structures that regulate and define student life and “legitimate” political discourse. We wish to break the hackneyed cliches that the University feeds incoming students during Welcome Week; to show you that despite a rhetoric of “liberal education,” “personal development,” and “academic freedom,” the University is more concerned with the interests of profit and business than its students. We’ve developed this guide as a means to challenge the prevailing view of the University as a haven of liberal, educational goodness. Due to restrictions of time and space, many things have been left out. Most saliently, there is nothing about NYU’s role as an engine of gentrification and violent displacement of working-class folks, almost always people of color. This guide is not a summative statement on NYU student politics. We just hope to get the conversation started. If you’re interested in what you read, please get in touch. Hit us up at email@example.com or email any of the radical groups. We look forward to meeting and working with you.
Contents Student Debt + Organizing 4 05 06 10 13
Donâ€™t Trust Hamiltonâ€™s Affodability Rhetoric The Real Conflict of Interest Graduate Workers and Students How to Appeal for More Financial Aid
Displacement + Corporate Education 14 15 Board of Trustees? TF? 17 That Time NYU Used Slave Labor 20 Birthright and the Destruction of Palestine 22 NYU, Gentrification, and the Cost of Prestige 27 The Library Named After an Anti-Semitic Pedophile
Campus Movements 28 29 Make NYU a Sanctuary Campus Now 32 NYU Divest from Fossil Fuels 34 Students for Justice in Palestine 37 Latinos Unidos con Honor y Amistad 38 NYU Democratic Socialists of America 39 International Socialist Organization 41 NYU Jewish Voice for Peace 43 NYU Against Fascism 45 A Guide to Being TGNC at NYU
How to Get Involved 49
STUDENT DEBT & ORGANIZING
“What we really should do is quadruple tuition,” 1 Former NYU President John Sexton
(receives an $800k annual retirement package)
Filling King Hamilton’s Coffers
Chances are, if you have heard NYU President Andrew Hamilton speak in public, you have heard how much time he dedicates to lowering costs at the university. Imported from Oxford to solve the college affordability epidemic that John Sexton not only failed to do, but exacerbated, Hamilton’s cost reducing rhetoric was at the forefront of his inauguration in 2015. Repeatedly mentioning the need to reducing the rate at which tuition and fees increase, these words are empty coming from a man that publicly decryed England’s cap on tuition, which prohibits universities from raising it to no more than £9,250 ($12,000) a year. Only a year before he sailed over to New Amsterdam to replace Sexton, Hamilton argued that the Oxford tuition should be £16,000, or $21,0002, to fully fund the cost of the Cambridge education. Meanwhile, Hamilton brushes off the concerns of student groups calling for a more transparent administration, with the inclusion of a student trustee on the University’s Board. In a meeting with him in March of this year, Hamilton told the Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM) that they wouldn’t get him to say anything negative about students. Frankly, he did not need to, as he had already called students on the Board a “conflict of interest”, while Trump advisor John Paulson and student loan vampire William Berkely sit easily on the governing body. In this section, students have written articles offering insight on the subject of the paralyzing and infamous NYU debt, as well as the individuals that use this corporate university model to drive profit up, leaving working class students by the wayside. When NYU has a surplus, they dedicate it towards expanding the university across the globe, rather than dealing with the crisis that ails us right on West 4th. This money must be spent on a tuition freeze and increased financial aid, rather than funding expansion that has destroyed the village since the school was established. Brachfeld, Ben. “Sexton Delivers Keynote Address...” NYU Local. https://nyulocal.com/sexton-delivers-keynote-address-at-debate-over-nyus-affordability-734445dc5f1b/. 2 Garner, Richard. “We Need Tuition Fees of up to...” Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/we-need-tuition-fees-of-up-to-16000-says-oxford-vice-chancellor-professor-andrew-hamilton-8867323.html 1
The Real Conflict of Interest
by Student Labor Action Movement (USAS Local #44)
The Board of Trustees is NYU’s governing apparatus. It consists of up to 70 members (all of whom are chosen to serve by other members of the board, and not the community itself), and is tasked with such responsibilities as creating policy, reviewing programs, determining the school’s mission, and appointing administrative officials (namely the President and Chancellor)1. Without any checks and balances present in the university’s bylaws, the board’s immense power should be of concern. Why? The board’s makeup more closely resembles that of a corporation than a school: After analyzing the trustees’ professions, the Student Labor Action Movement reported that the board is dominated by the members of the finance sector by 61.6%2. Even more disturbing? Only 2 members on the board of an academic institution are from the education sector3. President Hamilton has said time and time again that the board governs through a holistic approach, but it’s clear that one voice—one that has been taught to prioritize profits over people and unabashedly exploit the latter in the name of the former—controls the discussion in a way that could not possibly benefit members of the NYU community. The board operates under a complete lack of transparency: It would be expected that trustees, endowed with such consequential power, would make themselves available to those they serve. Unsurprisingly, the board has completely divorced itself from the people they’re meant to be helping, allowing them to be accountable to no one but themselves and their individual interests at the expense of everyone beneath them, including you and me. Information about board meetings—from when exactly they occur to the content of their discussions—is never made public, leaving many in the dark about how their school is being run. The board takes this a step further by refusing to publish trustee contact information, barring concerned community members from accessing the people making these decisions. In fact, prior to NYU Divest’s campaign to cut the school’s financial ties to fossil fuels, the board had successfully avoided having to meet with students for the entirety of its existence. That’s 68 years’ worth of dodging responsibility. ---Recognizing that the board is able to enforce whatever policies they desire without the input of those who are affected by the changes, SLAM launched their campaign to get student representation on the board. Despite their resolution passing the Student Senate, it was dead upon arrival to the University Senate, which is a step below the board and consists of student, faculty, and administrative representatives. This was in large part due to strong opposition from President Hamilton, who argued that since students are directly affected by the decisions the supposedly objective board makes, their participation in the voting process would be a “conflict of interest.” However, the case should be made that if the #1 goal of the Board of Trustees is to serve the community’s best interests, the board as it currently stands is a conflict of interest to itself. Although the Board of Trustees is meant to be objective, they are far from neutral participants, and often actively fight to suppress the change that students, staff, and faculty so desire. These forces have manifested in ways that have real consequences for the NYU community. Below are just a few instances how the board’s influence has exposed the hypocrisy of NYU marketing itself as an academic institution committed to progress on all fronts: ___________________________ 1 “University Officers,” NYU Faculty Handbook, 2017. Web. 2 Student Labor Action Movement, NYU Trustee Professions. Nov. 30, 2016. Web. Viewable at https:// scontent.fphl2-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15181428_1237726859622931_64660681557220 3 Ibid.
7 However, the case should be made that if the #1 goal of the Board of Trustees is to serve the community’s best interests, the board as it currently stands is a conflict of interest to itself. Although the Board of Trustees is meant to be objective, they are far from neutral participants, and often actively fight to suppress the change that students, staff, and faculty so desire. These forces have manifested in ways that have real consequences for the NYU community. Below are just a few instances how the board’s influence has exposed the hypocrisy of NYU marketing itself as an academic institution committed to progress on all fronts: 1) William Berkley and Student Debt It’s no secret that money is NYU’s biggest hurdle in selling itself to prospective students. There’s a reason why NYU graduates have had the largest collective student debt of any U.S. institution.4 Under former president John Sexton’s tenure, tuition increased by more than $18,000, with only 3% of students having their full financial aid needs met.5 6, Following Sexton’s departure, the university has expressed its commitment to making NYU more affordable, but we question their dedication to doing so. Why? At the head of the board sits William Berkley, who made his fortune as lead director of First Marblehead Corporation, a private student loan firm, which offers predatory loans with interest rates as high as 11 percent under the guise of providing students financial aid to attend the school of their dreams.7 It’s no coincidence that students at Georgetown University, whose board Berkley also serves on, suffer the same financial strain.8 And Berkley is not alone in his profiteering past— fellow trustee Catherine B. Reynolds serves as the chair of EduCap—which operates similarly to First Marblehead—and notably purchased a Gulfstream jet under the organization’s name.9 It is impossible to trust that these individuals are truly committed to lowering the cost of NYU when they’ve made their living off of exploiting students’ financial situations. 2) John Paulson and Sanctuary Status Following Donald Trump’s election and announcement of the Muslim travel ban and intentions to crack down on illegal immigration, NYU has attempted to present itself as an ally of the immigrant cause, from Hamilton’s speech at a school-sanctioned NoBanNoWall rally to their “Faces of Immigrants are the Faces of NYU” photo campaign (which wholly ignored immigrants from countries affected by the ban as well as individuals who are undocumented)., So when Hamilton refused to declare NYU a sanctuary, even going as far as to belittle the distinction despite many vulnerable community members expressing to him how it would make them feel safer in the face of such insecurity, it seemed a little suspicious. On the outside, it may seem perplexing, but makes a lot more sense once you look at the board. __________________ 4 Nick Pinto, “NYU Students: Debt and Debtor,” The Village Voice, Nov. 9, 2011, Web. 5 Jake Flanagin, “The Expensive Romance of NYU,” The Atlantic, Aug. 21, 2013, Web. 6 Lynn O’Shaughnessy, “Look Who Doesn’t Deserve Financial Aid at NYU,” CBS, June 19, 2013, Web. 7 William D. Cohan, “Wall Street Hand Stays the Stormy Course at NYU,” The New York Times, Sep. 8, 2014, Web. 8 Ibid. 9 Adriana Tapia, “What the 13 Non-NYU Related Trustees Do,” Washington Square News, March 20, 2017, Web.
There are a few past and present trustees with ties to the current administration, such as BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who serves as an advisor on Trump’s business council, and former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn, who is the chairman of Trump’s National Economic Council., But none are as crucial to understanding Hamilton’s mishandling of sanctuary status as hedge fund manager and early Trump supporter John Paulson, known for his participation in organizing and profiting off of the 2008 housing crisis, who donated $250,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee and served as an economic policy advisor on his campaign. Keeping in mind that Hamilton serves at the pleasure of the board, there’s reason to believe that he has refused to provide security to students, faculty, and staff in an effort to please Paulson. With Hamilton, a self-described “man of substance,” failing to offer concrete protections and ICE and Department of Homeland Security agents being on campus at the law school’s job fair, it’s hard to see how NYU can truly be committed to extending securities to those put at risk by the man Paulson fought to elect. 3) NYU’s Climate Change Problem With a chemist serving as president, NYU has taken every opportunity to publicly align itself in support of scientific endeavors, specifically as it relates to combating climate change. In March, it was announced that NYU would be the first university to partner with April’s March for Science. Later that month, Hamilton, who marched alongside students at the demonstration, penned an Op-Ed for the Washington Post, criticizing Trump’s proposed 20% cut to science research as a decision that would “haunt the nation’s future.” It’s at the least surprising that this university that’s willing to take such “bold” stands in favor of fighting climate change is the same one who a year ago defied the wishes of its community and voted against divestment from fossil fuels out of the board and Hamilton’s desire to not make statements with endowment money. If NYU truly wanted to make the difference it appears at face value to want to, it would sever ties with companies whose companies have a proven impact on deteriorating the environment. Yet again, we see the university not practicing what it preaches, at the risk of our planet’s health. As it currently stands, serving the community is a conflict of interest for the board. The only way the change we seek will be achieved is if students get seats at the table. We can no longer allow these profit-hungry monsters to make such consequential decisions without being held accountable. __________________________ 10 New York University Facebook page, “NoBanNoWall: Soulful Justice Rally”, Facebook, Feb. 1, Web. Viewable at https://www.facebook.com/NYU/videos/10155094883463689/ 11 Sy Abudu, “Portraits of NYU: ‘I Am an Immigrant’,” New York University, Feb. 15, 2017, Web. 12 Izzie Ramirez, “NYU Students and President Hamilton Protest at the March for Science,” NYU Local, Apr. 24, 2017, Web. Direct quote was: “Today is about science and words that matter, and that is not one of them.” 13 Bob Bryan, “Trump is Forming an Economic Advisory Team with the CEOs of Disney, General Motors, JPMorgan, and More,” Business Insider, Dec. 2, 2016, Web. 14 Tapia, “What the 13 Non-NYU Related Trustees Do.” 15 Alexandra Stevenson and Matthew Goldstein, “John Paulson’s Fall from Hedge Fund Alexandra Stevenson and Matthew Goldstein, “John Paulson’s Fall from Hedge Fund Stardom,” The New York Times, May 1, 2017, Web 16 Emily Jane Fox “The Hedge Funder Who Bet Against America is Now Advising Donald Trump,” Vanity Fair, Aug. 15, 2016, Web. 17 “Partners,” March for Science, Web. 18 Andrew Hamilton, “,” The Washington Post, March 25, 2017, Web.
that’s willing to take such “bold” stands in favor of fighting climate change is the same one who a year ago defied the wishes of its community and voted against divestment from fossil fuels out of the board and Hamilton’s desire to not make statements with endowment money.19 If NYU truly wanted to make the difference it appears at face value to want to, it would sever ties with companies whose companies have a proven impact on deteriorating the environment. Yet again, we see the university not practicing what it preaches, at the risk of our planet’s health. As it currently stands, serving the community is a conflict of interest for the board. The only way the change we seek will be achieved is if students get seats at the table. We can no longer allow these profit-hungry monsters to make such consequential decisions without being held accountable.
_______________________________ 19 William Berkley and Andrew Hamilton, “The Board of Trustees Response to University Senate Resolution on Fossil Fuel Divestment,” New York University, June 16, 2016, Web.
Graduate Student Organizing Committee A Union for Grad Workers GSOC-UAW Local 2110 We are the labor union that tirelessly represents and delivers big wins for graduate workers at NYU. If you’re a grad student, we want you to be treated fairly while you work here, and we will be there for you if you are not. Our efforts put money in your pocket, placing critical benefits such as health care within financial reach for you and your family. We are also political body on campus and within wider labor & social justice movements. We seek to further the Fight for 15, a just transition to a green economy, and the Movement for Black Lives, among other concerns. If you are an undergrad student, we want to stand in solidarity with you in our shared struggle to improve labor conditions throughout NYU’s operations and to be a progressive force within our shared communities & environment. Our work never ends, and so we need your help. We encourage all rank and file members to get involved, and there are many ways to make that happen. Firstly, if you’re working this semester, be sure to fill out a union card so you will have full voting rights and an easy way to pay the union dues that keep us in the fight for you. Secondly, even when you aren’t working, we invite you to come to our meetings, participate in our campaigns, and add your voice to the lively discussions about how to make a better NYU. Finally, if you are passionate about representing & organizing with your fellow students, we invite you to run for an elected steward position in the spring. Some stewards are paid for their time maintaining and strengthening the union. Others volunteer, working only for the collective benefit of their colleagues. Timeline of Collective Wins This old adage holds true: collective action gets the goods. GSOC’s been around for many years and has won many fights through this principle. The benefits we enjoy today are the product of sustained activism and organizing from past generations of grad students and the ongoing vigilance of current stewards and members. Here’s some highlights of what a union can do: Before our contract: In an attempt to discourage grad students from forming a union, the university restructured the GSAS financial aid packages in a process they called FAR-4. Unique among American universities, FAR-4 decoupled work requirements from academic funding and bumped TAs into the same pay rates as adjuncts. This meant more money and more flexibility for working GSAS students (but, since this still fell short of the kinds of full job protections and benefits we needed, and didn’t affect our most vulnerable colleagues, we unionized anyway).
In our contract: Our contract came into full effect September 1, 2015. It includes multiple benefits to working members, such as: 90% subsidies for NYU/CHP health insurance costs Reimbursements of up to 75% of the cost of dependent health insurance A childcare fund for parents with kids under the age of six Free Stu-Dent dental services Paid sick leave (+5 days) and paid vacation time (1-2 weeks, after working 26 consecutive weeks) ‘Just Cause’ job protections (mandating that NYU can’t fire you for no reason!) Legal protection from ever being asked to pick up coffee or dry cleaning for your boss Broad and powerful anti-discrimination protections A huge hike in the minimum wage, which was previously as low as $8.50 for some grad employees Annual raises for both hourly & salaried folks
After our contract: Although negotiating a contract is a key part of how a union wins better working conditions for its members, the effects of our campaigns have been felt outside of the contract and in our continued efforts to expand and enforce its language. Here are a few highlights of the union’s victories post-2015: ~ A big part of our contract campaign involved raising awareness about the shortcomings and unaffordability of NYU’s health insurance pricing, bringing these issues uncomfortably into the spotlight. Sure enough, in Fall of 2015, NYU/CHP made some changes, moving to a flat rate for dependent health insurance (rather than having to pay for each family member) and a discount for GSHIP dependent costs. These huge savings affect some of the most financially precarious students at NYU, even when they are not working. ~ In several departments NYU grad students were being formally or informally pressured into work as TAs without any pay. In the years after our contract, we’ve seen those practices stop and back pay being awarded to those wrongfully asked to work for free. ~ At the engineering school MSc students were recruited into NYU’s Incubator program where they worked at for-profit tech companies for paltry honorariums that worked out to the equivalent of less than the federal minimum wage for their skilled time and labor. We hired a lawyer and took NYU to arbitration on this issue. The result: back pay for all affected interns. ~ One of our ongoing priorities is to secure student parental leave policies. Currently, and shockingly, NYU has no such policies. We’ve successfully pressed NYU several times to extend NY state minimum paid disability leave to workers who give birth. Each time we’ve won settlements that have provided financial support and academic leave for these new parents. ~ Our contract specifically states that doctoral students who work don’t have to pay matriculation or related fees. At the Steinhardt and Silver schools NYU argued that this didn’t apply to its PhDs because matriculation was assessed via a bogus 1 credit course that essentially had no instruction. We got a lawyer, took the matter to arbitration, and won soundly. Now these students save $4,150 a year. ~ Along the way, we’ve settled a score of individual grievances, including some pretty outlandish abuses of managerial power on the part of profs and NYU admin.
This all wouldn’t be possible if not for the collective power of our members, their passion and time, their dues dollars, and their leadership in the fight for a better university.
Priorities for the Future While we’ve accomplished a lot over the years, we still have a lot to fight for at NYU. Some priorities for this year’s efforts include: The end to NYU’s arbitrary mid-semester cut-off dates for health insurance and other financial subsidies. This has no basis in the contract and is shameful conduct. We have an arbitration hearing on this matter in September Gender & Parental Equity, including securing better leave policies for all student parents Building our power before a tough contract fight in 2020 when we’ll face NYU + 45’s nasty National Labor Review Board
For more about grad worker benefits, union cards, meeting times, and our political solidarity work, please visit our website: makingabetternyu.org
How to Appeal for More Financial Aid If you’re here, you need more money. Where do you Turn?
Though not actively advertised by the University, there does exist an appeal process. If you experience an emergency or change of circumstances that adversely affects your ability to remain at school, we strongly encourage you to apply. The process is remarkably easy, essentially consisting of a comment box in which you write as little or as muchb as you want. You tell your story and list your needs. According to the University website: “appeal results are typically based on financial need and academic performace. The amount of appeal funds available varies each year, and individual NYU schools work closely with the Office of Financial Aid throughout the process to make the appeal determination.”  The form is usually released towards the beginning fo the fall and spring semesters, a few weeks before it’s due. You should check this page periodically: http://www.nyu.eduadmissions/financial-aid-and -scholarships/applications-and-forms.hmtl And another thing they withheld from you. Though it may be too late if you’re already enrolled, incoming international students are also eligible to participate in the appeal process.
____________  ”Frequently Asked Questions,” NYU Office of Financial Aid, 2016, Web.
DISPLACEMENT & CORPORATE EDUCATION
What is the Board of Trustees? Whom does it Serve?
The Board of Trustees is NYU’s governing body. It’s responsible for determining NYU’s purpose, reviewing existing programs, and selecting NYU’s president. The extent to which the Board of Trustees controls the University is striking. As NYU itself notes: “the President and Chancellor are appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Board.” What this means is that all matters of University governance ultimately end with the desires of the Board of Trustees. The way our school is run, and hence student life, is subject to their whims. Students, faculty, and alumni have no say in who serves on the Board. In fact, the only people who have any say are Board members themselves. Thus, the Board is free to protect its own interests and to further its own projects at the expense of students, faculty, and laborers with no consequences or oversight. As this guide seeks to illustrate, this is exactly what the Board does.
What are the Interests of NYU’s Board of Trustees? The NYU Board of Trustees’ chief interest is furthering and protecting the interests of individual members. So who are the members and what are their interests? Since the NYU Board of Trustees is around seventy people strong--it resembles the governing body of a major corporation more than that of a university--we cannot detail every single member’s background and interests here. Just know that nearly all of these men and women have backgrounds in speculative real estate, Wall Street, and/or international business, perhaps explaining why NYU may be more accurately described as an international real estate development firm with an expensive and promising educational wing, than as a university. There is a total disconnect between Board members and anyone you will ever come into contact with as a student. Until last year’s meeting with NYU Divest from Fossil Fuels, the Board had somehow never met with students in its 68 year history. Even if the Board cared about student and faculty interests and concerns, they wouldn’t even know what they are. The governing body of our school is composed of men and women who are looking to profit, often in incredibly exploitative and racist ways. What’s more, they have the power and legal know-how to do this. They are intimately connected to and ultimately responsible for the injustices discussed in this guide and ones beyond its scope. For many of members of the Board, their presence alone is a flagrant conflict of interest. Here are few examples:
William R. Berkley Berkeley is the Chairman of the Board. He has been on the Board since 1995. He is the 29th best-compensated CEO in the world according to Forbes magazine. Millions of dollars in Berkley’s fortune come from his involvement with First Marblehead Corporation, where he served on the Board of Directors from 1995-2007. First Marblehead is a private student loan firm. In 2007, the interest rate on a Marblehead loan was 11 %, while the rate on a federal loan was 6.8 %. It’s evident that First Marblehead has a vested interest in universities raising their tuition to unpayable levels, and that Berkley profited off this while on the NYU board of trustees. He literally made millions by impoverishing students and plunging them into extreme debt. Give him a hug and a warm welcome if you see him around campus.
Khaldoon Al-Mubarak Aside from being the Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, Al-Mubarak is also the CEO of Mubadala and the chairman of Manchester City Football Club. This Mubadala corporation was one of the maim firms responsible for the construction of NYU Abu Dhabi, and was one of the companies exempt from NYU’s _________________________________ “University Officers,” NYU Faculty Handbook, 2016, Web. Ibid 3 Ryan McNamara, “Future Head of NYU Board of Trustees Made Millions of Student Loans,” NYU Local, Sep. 8, 2014, Web. 1 2
responsible for the construction of NYU Abu Dhabi, and was one of the companies exempt from NYU’s commitment to labor conditions that are safe and livable. Pretty fucking fishy that a Board member’s corporation was contracted to build NYU Abu Dhabi and then that his company was exempt from NYU’s commitment to labor protections. The decision to add Al-Mubarak to NYU’s board coincides exactly with the University’s announcement that it would open a portal campus in Abu Dhabi.4
Catherine Reynolds Another lover of indebted students, Catherine Reynolds splits her time between being an NYU trustee and the Chairman of EduCap, a private not-for-profit student loan firm. Despite its non-profit status, EduCap has issued loans at interest rates substantially higher than those of for-profit lending companies. So there may be no “profit,” but there is enough money lying around EduCap for Reynolds to buy a private airplane and donate 38 million to the Smithsonian?
Daniel Tisch Daniel Tisch is heir to the enormous Tisch family fortune (Forbes estimates this to be around 1.2 billion dollars). This fortune was made primarily from the Lorillard Tobacco Company. Lorillard is the parent company of Newport Cigarettes, whose claim to fame is aggressively marketing menthol cigarettes to black Americans. Much of the Tisch family’s money was made from getting as many Black Americans addicted to the most harmful form of cigarette tobacco. Their overwhelming presence at NYU is a consistent reminder of the violent racism that our school was built on, and on which it continues to operate.
The Board of Trustees
Are university decisions made in the interests of students, faculty and workers? _____________________
Danielle Tcholakian, “NYU Students Want Info on Trustee’s Role in Controversial Abu Dhabi Campus,” DNAinfo, May 8, 2015, Web. 4
Indentured in the Desert
In May 2015, in a cavernous, state-of-the-art building, NYU Abu Dhabi’s inaugural graduating class celebrated. The ceremony was joyous, featuring more pomp, regalia, and applause than the typical university commencement. Speaker after speaker extolled the virtues of NYU’s degree-granting portal campus in the oil-rich absolute monarchy. A slick promotional video featured students praising NYU Abu Dhabi for “exporting hope and exporting future…and stand[ing] for investing in people and investing in a generation,” and breathless, tearful lamentations that their four years in an educational paradise with the Future Leaders Of The World were over. Of course, the elephant in the room went unmentioned. Just a month before, the international investigation firm Nardello and Co. had published an NYU-commissioned report detailing widespread labor abuses during the construction of NYU’s Abu Dhabi campus. The report confirmed labor violations previously reported in The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Human Rights Watch, VICE, and other outlets. The 72-page report details several abuses: NYU’s failure to reimburse recruitment fees for any of the 30,000 migrant workers who built NYU Abu Dhabi; the deportation of 250 striking workers in 2013; and, worst of all, an institutionalized policy allowing exemptions to certain subcontractors from all of NYU’s (already sub-par) labor protections. These exceptions resulted in over 10,000 workers facing conditions which amounted to little more than indentured servitude: poverty wages that required migrant laborers to work for upwards of a year to repay devious recruiters who coerced them with promises of much higher wages, employers seizing and holding passports (a practice universally condemned by human rights organizations), 12-hour workdays in 110 degree heat; and overcrowded residences in work camps without transportation to leave, apart from going to work at NYU Abu Dhabi. These are men who left penury in their respective home countries in search of something better and were instead met with repression and exploitation. Consider the living conditions of 27 workers employed as painters at NYU Abu Dhabi: All 27 men were living in a two-room apartment in Abu Dhabi city. Insects were crawling around the kitchen, and there were exposed electrical wires wrapped around a showerhead. Some of the men slept on makeshift beds on the floor underneath bunk beds, and there was a hole punched in the fire escape door, which was locked.1 Or consider how Abu Dhabi police abused alleged strikers and labor organizers:
“It was the first time in my adult life that I cried, because I was so scared,” said Matur Rehman, an NYU Abu Dhabi worker deported back to Bangladesh. “One police officer was shouting, ‘Are you a strike leader? Are you a strike leader?’ And the other one beat me with his shoe and slapped me on the neck. I was crying and begging him to stop,”... Another striker recalled being slapped on the face at the prison because he didn’t look straight ahead during an iris scan used to ensure he never returns to the UAE.... About 40 men had no change of clothes for at least nine days while they were held in Dubai central prison. They were not allowed to exercise, mix with other prisoners or use the prison mosque.2
“Migrant Workers’ Rights on Saadiyat Island in the United Arab Emirates 2015 Progress Report.” Human Rights Watch, Feb. 10, 2015, Web. 2 Molly Crabapple, “Slaves of Happiness Island,” VICE, Aug, 4 2014, Web. 1
It is not surprising that police arrested and jailed the workers; striking is illegal in Abu Dhabi. So is being gay. Israeli citizens are banned from entering the country. Unionizing is illegal and there is no minimum wage. One can be imprisoned for “insulting” the government. The Emirates are run by a monarchy without even the pretense of democracy. While former President John Sexton may label these policies “a cultural context that is very different from our own…in my mind…a good thing,” there are blatant injustices endemic to the “cultural context.”3 - NYU Abu Dhabi is built on top of a metaphoric graveyard. The university’s website touts its construction in the passive voice, giving the impression that the glistening facilities sprouted from the ground. Official histories and promotional materials have nothing to say of the migrant workers who sweated, died, lived in indentured servitude, were beaten and arrested by police, and eventually deported. NYU’s alliance with The United Arab Emirates reveals how uninterested NYU is in ethical treatment of workers, people, or academic freedom. Who could have foreseen a conflict between NYU’s ostensibly liberal, educational values and a ruthless, autocratic state that criminalizes worker protections? Is anyone really surprised at the massive abuse NYU has participated in and profited from, or that an NYU professor has been barred from entering Abu Dhabi?4 Above all else, NYU is concerned with expansion and its concomitant business, profit, and executive bonuses. NYU administrators are more eager to sell its brand and a veneer of progressiveness to oligarchic, reactionary states than any other university in the world: truly the best Global Network University in the business. In an email following the release of Nardello and Co.’s report, former president John Sexton promised limited restitution measures, including the creation of a research project into the exploitative labor recruitment system NYU relied on to build its campus and to provide back pay to the at least 10,000 workers excluded from NYU’s $217 minimum monthly rate. The deported strikers are unmentioned and the administration has not provided any updates as to the progress of its restitution measures over a year later. These promises are wholly inadequate. The administration has time and again demonstrated its lack of concern for anyone harmed by its never-ending expansion. A promise of minor restitution measures to be executed by the same group of people who looked the other way while at least 10,000 workers were ruthlessly exploited and abused is far from compelling. A good start would be to follow Professor Andrew Ross’s advice: “If liberal cultural and educational institutions are to operate with any integrity in that environment, they must insist on a change of the rules: abolish the recruitment debt system, pay a living wage, allow workers to change employers at will and legalize the right to collective bargaining.” 5 - NYU’s labor abuses in the Gulf point to some of the more pernicious aspects of the greater ideology underpinning the university’s Global Network project. Though Sexton—the project’s chief architect and strongest advocate—may claim that NYU’s global ambitions play no role in “perpetuating or compounding old patterns of dominance and subordination,”6 it is vital to note, as the Abu Dhabi scandal makes clear, that NYU is not a neutral actor on the international scene. As various critical _______________________ 3
John Sexton, “NYU Commute To Get Better If You’re In Abu Dhabi,” NPR, Aug. 16, 2009, Web. Stephanie Saul, “N.Y.U Professor Is Barred by United Arab Emirates.” The New York Times, Mar. 16 2015. Web. 5 Andrew Ross, “High Culture and Hard Labor,” The New York Times, Mar. 28, 2014. Web. 6 John Sexton, “Global Network University Reflection” New York University, Dec. 21, 2010, Web. 4
scholars have pointed out, the rhetoric of education and enlightenment has often accompanied Western excursions into the greater world, playing a vital role in the establishment of a complex and extensive set of unequal power relations.
Such relations are particularly evident in the university’s operations within the global South. Campus brochures portray our study-abroad sites in Accra, Buenos Aires and Tel-Aviv as beacons of liberalism within their respective regions, devoid of the political and economic instability that plagues other non-Western climes. Yet the tree-lined streets that house our Academic Centers in the upper-class neighborhoods of Labone, Recoleta or the Old North mask the segregative, calculated cycle of global and local inequality that ghettoizes the invisibilized masses of the urban poor in these cities. As students, we are inundated by talk of global citizenry and the importance of international education in the crafting of a more socially just order. But we have to ask: to whom do the educational benefits of our “unparalleled cultural and intellectual experiences” accrue? Besides the issue of international power and inequality, the profit motive undergirding NYU’s global project has to be addressed. The university charges us the same tuition overseas as it does on the Square, despite the fact that the real cost of studying abroad is substantially lower, due to differences in living expenses (in almost every case) and the lower wage bill abroad (since almost all lecturers are adjuncts with meager salaries and work security). The Global Network University can also be read as a strategy that siphons off students abroad as a means of increasing total enrollment on the Square and in the university at large. For every freshman sent abroad with the Liberal Studies program, the university is able to admit another student on the Square, bringing in an additional $49k or so in tuition. Add to all of this the aggressive marketing that accompanies these programs, and we have yet another instance of NYU’s profit-driven, corporate governance, invested as it is in a status quo of racialized global inequality and unabated expansion. If you go to NYU Abu Dhabi, you will see an educational paradise of personal development, incubating the Future Leaders Of The World. You will see the buildings glittering in sunlight, world-class professors and students, and a cornerstone of a cultural utopia soon to be joined by the Louvre and Guggenheim. But NYU did not build NYU Abu Dhabi, the coerced and indentured workers did. They built the campus locked in overwhelming debt, working 12-hour shifts in temperatures over 100 degrees, with their passports locked away, and often living in dangerous conditions. You will not see their names engraved on donor lists, in front of esteemed professorships, or on the doors of beautiful seminar rooms. You will not hear them at graduation.
Birthright and the Destruction of Palestine The next few weeks are going to be filled with many exciting opportunities to join several kinds of groups: academic, entertainment, activist, and volunteer. You’ll receive many flyers, some you wanted and others that were handed to you amidst the chaos of Welcome Week. One table you’ll most definitely encounter, not only this week, but throughout your time at NYU, will be decorated with signs advertising “Free Trips to Israel,” or asking you to “Join Taglit-Birthright.” While exclusive to Jewish students and marked as an all-expenses-paid vacation that allows students to connect with their heritage, this “vacation” is pure propaganda. In an effort to remain a purely “cultural trip,” Taglit-Birthright will present itself with a sanitized image of a depoliticized Israel devoid of conflict, something we all know to be quite untrue. The trip will never present you with the cities in the West Bank or Gaza living under brutal military occupation and siege. It will not explain to you that the millions of refugees created by Israel are not able to claim this “birthright,” despite the generations of their family members who lived or live in Israel-Palestine. Taglit-Birthright will conveniently leave out the fact that the West Bank has been under military occupation since 1967, something that is not disputed by any nation in the world. Well, except for Israel, that is. The tables around campus won’t include information about Israel’s siege on the Gaza strip, where Israel controls the airspace and waterways, as well as the movement of anything that enters or leaves, be it food, construction materials or people. These human rights abuses have even affected some of your fellow students who have attempted to study at NYU through the Pathways to Peace program. Unfortunately, many have either missed the program entirely, been unable to even interview for it, or have had to join late because Israel restricted their travel. Additionally, some of your fellow students have been denied entry to Israel-Palestine at the hands of Israeli security, which controls all borders. As NYU students you should be critical of the Birthright advertisements you will repeatedly encounter on campus. For those of you who are American, understand that our government sends nearly four billion dollars a year to the Israeli army (the IDF), which maintains domination over Palestinians by denying them basic human rights and overseeing the destruction of Palestinian cities, towns and villages. Israel has a defense budget of 16 billion dollars and is the only nation in the Middle East that possesses nuclear capabilities. But again, you will not see these facts on the Taglit-Birthright tables. Understand that not all Jewish people support Israel and that criticizing Israeli policies is not in itself anti-Semitic. There are several organizations, such as Jewish Voices for Peace, that oppose Israel’s human rights violations. The trip, however, will make no mention of such groups. Nor will you hear of the plight of Israeli citizens who are themselves Palestinian. Comprising nearly twenty percent of the Israeli population, they are legally and systematically discriminated against simply because they are not Jewish. The Citizenship and Entry Law enacted in 2003, for instance, denies citizenship to Palestinians who reside in the West Bank or Gaza, and who marry Israelis. Compare this with the fact that any Jewish person in the world can claim Israeli citizenship. Palestinians living in occupied territory are at least as threatened by Israeli settlement and demolition as their non-Jewish Israeli-citizen counterparts. According to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, the past decade has seen the demolition of at least 1,113 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, leaving 5,199 people, including at least 2,602 minors, homeless as a result.1 Despite consistent _________________________ “Israel demolished more Palestinian homes in West Bank in first half of 2016 than in all of 2016,” B’Tselem, Jul. 27, 2016, Web. 1
intentional pressure and being in constant violation of Article 54 of the Geneva Convention (which prohibits the destruction of “objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population”)2, Israel has only increased its program of mass destruction and displacement in recent months; more Palestinian homes were demolished in the first half of 2016 than in all of 2015.3
A Jewish NYU student who has never been to Israel, regardless of their nationality, can board a flight from JFK to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv without a visa, pass through security, and arrive at a hostel in Tel Aviv in less than a day. A Palestinian who was born in Israel and subsequently exiled cannot return to Israel without first acquiring the citizenship of another country—an extremely difficult process—and even then may not be let in. If a Jewish person wants to move to Israel, they face very few barriers. In fact, the Israeli government will actively aid them in their efforts. Yet it is impossible for any Palestinian to permanently return to their home or their family’s home in Israel proper. These facts have not been pointed out to guilt or depress you if you’ve ever thought Birthright looked interesting, but did not understand its purpose. They are to show you that this seemingly harmless, all-expenses-paid vacation is actually a tool funded by the Israeli government to legitimize and obscure the displacement of Palestinians, and the removal of the “demographic threat” that they are deemed to pose. As an NYU student, you will encounter these ads more frequently than others. After all, our very own Michael Steinhardt and Charles Bronfman co-founded Taglit-Birthright with the hope of facilitating greater Jewish settlement of Israel-Palestine. There are ways to visit Israel-Palestine that give accurate accounts of life there that are not funded by the government. In addition, you can also check out some of the activist organizations on campus, such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). A group of students from diverse backgrounds (including Palestinian and Jewish), SJP believes in equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis. We meet weekly in the Kimmel Center, and hold events throughout the year. Look out for us at Club Fest or on the OrgSync website! Birthright is a propaganda trip designed to obscure the destruction of Palestinian homes, lives, history, and culture, with images of smiling kids having the vacation of their lives. There are ways to responsibly and justly travel to and learn about the region; Birthright is not one of them. To go on one of their “vacations” is to be complicit in the occupation, destruction, and colonization of Palestine. That NYU sponsors an official Birthright trip, and bears the names of the founders of Taglit-Birthright in its institutional structure, and operates a portal campus in Tel-Aviv is testament to its own complicity in this violence. __________________________________
“Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I)” International Committee of the Red Cross, Jun. 8, 1977, Web. 3 “Israel…” 2
NYU, Gentrification, and the Cost of Prestige
While NYU speaks proudly and confidently of its nearly 200-year tenure in downtown Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, it is far from a neutral actor within New York City’s urban landscape. NYU’s program of ruthless expansion has and will continue to displace longtime, working-class residents. As an incoming NYU student in 2017, you are entering a metropolis at a crossroads. An affordable housing crisis is plaguing the city—a crisis that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio made a central component of his campaign and mayoralty. Pledging to solve the crisis, de Blasio has codified his plans through the wildly ambitious and hotly contested 2014 housing agenda titled Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten Year Plan.1 The lack of affordable housing and rising rents has led to a process known as gentrification, a word that seems to be on the lips of most New Yorkers these days. The term, coined by British sociologist Ruth Glass in 1964, is defined as “the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.”2 Synonymous with gentrification is the process of cultural transformation, wherein the character of a neighborhood is altered in favor of its newer, more educated, and wealthier inhabitants. This change in character is often contingent on and enforced by an increased police presence and arrest rate in the area— one of the more disturbing components of the process. Gentrification in New York can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the city’s sheer desirability and the general trend of wealthy folks migrating and “returning” to cities in the past decade. With thesefactors in mind, it is crucial to understand how NYU accelerates and profits from the process of gentrification, particularly within the surrounding neighborhoods of the East Village and the Lower East Side. A prominent example of NYU’s effect on the real estate and culture of its vicinity is the utter transformation of the portion of the East Village known as Alphabet City, bordered by Avenue A to the west and Avenue D to the east, 14th Street to the north and Houston Street to the south. Colloquially referred to as “Loisaida” by its predominantly lower-income Latinx/ Puerto Rican residents of the 1970s, the area has seen a rapid increase in real estate prices over three decades, as well as a change in its demographics and street culture. _________________________
1. Bill DeBlasio. The City of New York, Office of the Mayor. Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten Year Plan. New York: Print. 2. “Gentrification” Definition.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2016. 3. Richard Florida, “How and Why American Cities Are Coming Back.” CityLab. 17 May 2012. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.
An undeniable cause and catalyst of this urban sea change was the surge of NYU students to the area between the 1985 to the 2010 as NYU transformed from a commuter school into a massive, prestigious university. During this time, NYU raised 13 buildings and constructed 25, including the gigantic Third North and Alumni Hall dormitories which, aside from being far larger than surrounding buildings in the area, totaled about an absurd 2,180,000 square feet in size4.
Beginning in 1994, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his NYPD Commissioner William Bratton put the “Broken Windows” theory into practice, in which laws against small, non-violent quality-of-life crimes such as graffiti, public intoxication, and subway fare dodging were more strictly enforced5. In the NYPD’s attempt to “get tough on crime” in the supposedly “unmanageable city,” misdemeanor arrests increased 70% in New York City during the 90s, while more serious felony arrests—resulting in incarceration—increased an astounding 50% to 70%6. While NYU is not necessarily to blame for the aggressive and classist policies of its home city’s police department, it is undeniable that, when observing NYU’s expansion into the Union Square in the 90s and subsequent growth (in property, prestige, tuition, and admission rates) in the 2000s, the university has a vested interest in the Village’s reputation as a “safe” and well-policed area. This attitude seeps into the university’s real estate acquisitions, wherein more and more of the area surrounding NYU’s Washington Square hub is purchased by the university, all in the interest of protecting its supposedly vulnerable student population from the dangers of New York City, through a moat of University property and Campus Police patrolled-streets. We must remember that our education and transformation into “elite citizen(s)” (a term taken directly from the “About” page of NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences)7 takes place against a background of the criminalization and displacement of a whole other urban population. “In and of the city,” indeed. -Aside from hard numerical statistics, it is inarguable that NYU has radically and somewhat carelessly altered the physical layout, scale, and feel of its surrounding neighborhoods—a less discussed but extremely important aspect of gentrification. There are countless instances in which NYU has transgressed the physical and cultural history of Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side. What follows is an abridged list of these activities: Left: Jane Jacobs at a press conference in 1961 during which she devoted her life to combatting the “urban renewal” plans of Robert Moses __________________________________________________ 4 “Past NYU Construction Compared to ‘NYU 2031’ Projections for additional square footage to be added in the “Core and Surroundings” (i.e. Greenwich Village, near-East Village, NoHo, Union Square) over the next 23 years .” Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 William J. Bratton, “BROKEN WINDOWS AND QUALITY-OF-LIFE POLICING IN NEW YORK CITY.” NYC.gov. Web. 6 David R. Francis, “What Reduced Crime in New York City.” The National Bureau of Economic Research. Web. 7 “About CAS, College of Arts and Science | NYU.” About CAS, College of Arts and Science | NYU. Web. 26 Aug. 2016.
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY’S TRANSGRESSIONS AGAINST GREENWICH VILLAGE AND NEW YORK CITY The university moved into the Village in 1831, coinciding with a construction boom in the area. Washington Square Park was at this point a military training ground, and the area around was largely dedicated to New York State’s first penitentiary Newgate Prison. The notoriously overcrowded prison was shuttered around this time and many of its inmates were shipped to the newly-constructed Sing Sing Prison (famously built entirely using the labor of its inmates)8. Albert Gallatin and University Council were encouraged by Mayor William L. Marcy to re-designate excess construction material from Sing Sing to be used to build the initial administrational buildings. In 1834, stone cutters took the streets to protest the use of prison labor, eventually storming NYU’s contractor Elisha Bloomer’s storefront and causing thousands of dollars in damage9. Thus, the university stands at the center of New York State’s first organized labor riot. It had entered “the community.” In the 1950s, NYU would endorse the Mayor’s Committee on Slum Clearance -- a master plan of polarizing New York City planning icon (and part-time NYU professor) Robert Moses. The initiative sought to demolish densely populated, low-income neighborhoods and replace them with high-rise housing projects and/or buildings for prestigious institutions. A prime example of this racist and ruinous initiative is seen in the destruction of the West Side Story area around Columbus Circle formerly known as San Juan Hill -- a neighborhood Robert Moses saw as being full of “that scum floating up from Puerto Rico” -- to make way for the sprawling Lincoln Center 10 campus . Iconic social critic and activist James Baldwin referred to urban renewal as “Negro Removal,”11. In Greenwich Village, the project led to the acquisition and destruction of vast swathes of factories and tenements south of Washington Square Park in the 1950s, displacing thousands of working class residents in the process. With the newly gained land, Moses designated the area into three “superblocks” and constructed the sleek, three-building University Village Complex. Two of the three buildings were eventually gifted to NYU and used for faculty housing.13 In the late 1960s, NYU opposed beloved Greenwich Village community activist Jane Jacobs’ campaign to stop the construction of the 12-story Bobst library on the still relatively low-rise Washington Square South. “It was a waste of space and would cast an evening shadow on Washington Square Park. It does,” she later argued.14 ____________________________________________ Trigoboff, Sara. “NYU History Lesson: NYU And The First Labor Riot In NYC.” NYU Local, NYU Local, 29 Sept. 2010. Ibid Boys, Bowery. “West Side Story: The Making of Lincoln Center.” The Bowery Boys: New York City History, 9 Dec. 2016. Baldwin, James, and Fred L. Standley. Conversations with James Baldwin. Jackson, Miss., Univ. of Mississippi, 1996. “New York Architecture - University Village.” New York Architecture Images-University Village. Web. 10 Aug. 2016. Ibid Amateau, Albert. “Jane Jacobs, urban planning pioneer, is dead at 89.” Jane Jacobs, urban planning pioneer, is dead at 89, 4 May 2006, Accessed 1 Aug. 2017.
In 2000, the university announced plans for the construction of Furman Hall, a building for its law school. The proposed site was the former residence of Edgar Allen Poe, the site where he had written “The Cask of Amontillado” and published “The Raven.” Several demonstrations were held to protest the plans and moves were made to establish the site as a landmark. The university continuously denied the historical significance of the building in press releases, but relented in agreeing to incorporate the facade in the new building’s architecture. The facade was, in fact, preserved, but was moved half a block down.15
In 2005, NYU purchased the recently shuttered St. Ann’s Church, a gorgeous Romanesque structure built in 1847 deemed eligible for historic landmark status. To the ire of neighborhood residents and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the university announced plans to build the 26-story Founders Hall in its place. Additional controversy ensued over a possibly illegal transfer of air rights from the nearby Peter Cooper Station Post Office, wherein the United States Postal Service absolved itself of responsibility to the National Historic Preservation Act, allowing NYU to build an additional 61,000 square feet. NYU marched on with the project, building what was at the time the tallest building in the East Village. As a truly condescending concession, the university left the facade of St. Ann’s Church hollowed out in front of the drab, hulking, and architecturally discordant Founders Hall.16 In 2008, NYU moved to destroy the Provincetown Playhouse theater and the Provincetown Apartments, “the locus of cultural activity and the gathering places of all the figures associated with the Greenwich Village Renaissance that began the era of Modernism in the U.S,” to make way for what is now Wilf Hall. Aside from severely hurting the business of neighboring Italian restaurant La Lanterna by parking construction trucks in front of its doorway for months, NYU lied about preserving the main theater space -- a mere 5% of the building -- to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, and knocked down each of the four walls in secret17. NYU 2031, a $6 billion and 25-year expansion plan, was announced in 2006 and was met with swift and forceful opposition from many long-time residents and community members. The bulk of the redesign affects the Washington Square Village superblocks, implying continuous construction within these three blocks for the next two decades. The area was to be rezoned for larger and taller buildings. Most controversially, it would redevelop four historically public sites – Mercer Playground, LaGuardia Park, LaGuardia Gardens, and the Mercer-Houston Dog Run – for additional construction space.18 It was this aspect that the opponents of the plan would hone in on in their legal battle against the expansion. Suit was filed against _______________________________________ “Edgar Allen Poe House.” The New York Preservation Archive Project, 2016. Lombardi, Kristen. “Not Subject to Review.” Village Voice, 28 Feb. 2006. 17 Andito. “Bittersweet Anniversary for Provincetown Playhouse.” Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, 21 Nov. 2012, 18 “NYU 2031: NYU in NYC A Strategy for Future Growth.” Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. 15 16
the city claiming that it had illegally approved construction on “implied parkland” for non-park use, a claim which was upheld for all but the dog run in January 2014 by State Supreme Court justice Donna Mills. The victory was short-lived: the university appealed the decision and the State Supreme Court’s findings were ultimately overturned in summer of 2015. 2031 was to move forward.19 The community struggle over the plan coincided with the faculty’s growing distrust of the administration. In 2013, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences passed a vote of no confidence in president Sexton.20 Many cited the university’s expansion tactics as the reason for their vote, others were ambivalent about the plan but unhappy about the behind-closed-doors nature of the planning process. In general, concerns were rising cost of tuition and the acceptance of more students than the campus could accommodate.21 For incoming students, NYU 2031 might seem benign, but it is understood by many as a metaphor for the circular “manifest destiny” logic of the administration. One of the ways the university bankrolls its billion-dollar expansion plans is by steadily admitting more undergraduates yearly, often overflowing the dorms and placing superfluous incoming freshmen in nearby hotels.22 It justifies its expansions by pointing to such instances as an example of the need for additional space. It markets its “rich and diverse” surroundings and then does very little to show interest in or support of the communities that have long comprised the neighborhood. The plan comes as the climax in an escalating half-century of urban renewal politics – it runs far deeper than simply the university’s opportunism. The city rolls over to large private entities, gleefully rezoning community space and adjusting height restriction law even if such changes are unsustainable, untenable, ugly or result in the displacement of working- or middle-class communities. With a record of flooding the once-working class area with affluent and transient students, purchasing large swathes of Greenwich Village real estate for use by pupils and faculty only, consistently attempting to defy zoning ordinances to build taller buildings, and indirectly profiting from larger systems of oppression such as mass incarceration and racist policing, NYU has established itself as a powerful gentrifying force. If you are interested in anti-gentrification movements there are some listed in the back. ___________________________________
Ross, Barbara. “NYU’s $6 billion Greenwich Village expansion cleared by state appellate court.” NY Daily News, 14 Oct. 2014, Williams, Matt. “NYU faculty members begin no-Confidence vote against president John Sexton.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 Mar. 2013, 21 Ibid 22 Higgins, Michelle. “$300-a-Night Hotel Houses N.Y.U. Students.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Oct. 2015. 19
The NYU Building named after a Anti-Semitic Pedophile
In parks and on university campuses around the country, cities and universities are taking down monuments to white supremacy. Statues of confederate war generals erected at the heights of white racist reaction to expansions of civil rights have toppled, appropriately. Yale University, for instance, changed the name of what was Calhoun College. Calhoun was named for John Calhoun, a pre-Civil-War South Carolina Senator and Vice President who championed slavery as “a positive good.” Today the college is named for Grace Hopper, a pioneering computer scientist, a Yale alumna, and a Black woman. It’s a fitting tribute; Hopper is a model of the very best that universities can do. NYU has some embarrassing monuments, too. Samuel Morse, the inventor of Morse Code and a leader in the early days of telegraphs, was a professor of painting and sculpture here - there’s a plaque recognizing him on the north side of the Silver building. Morse was also a champion of slavery, even from the distance of New York. He, like Calhoun, thought that slavery was a positive good, writing: “Christianity has been most successfully propagated among a barbarous race, when they have been enslaved to a Christian race. Slavery to them has been Salvation, and Freedom, ruin.” Calhoun and Morse were wrong: slavery in the United States, particularly in the years before the Civil War, when both of them were still championing slavery, was brutal, violent, and barbarous. Americans are rightly ashamed of what some historians call our “original sin;” Morse and Calhoun should have known better, and we rightly name their immorality when we criticize their full-throated defense of American slavery. Until very recently, NYU used to call the College Core Curriculum the “Morse Academic Plan.” We changed that name in order to stop putting white supremacy at the center of our academic mission. Another center of our academic mission is the library. Named for Elmer Holmes Bobst, it is at the center of everything we do: it’s centrally located on campus, the top floors hold the President’s office, and it literally contains the knowledge we learn and teach on campus every day. Elmer Bobst was an anti-Semite. He wrote Richard Nixon with that view, suggesting that “the Jews have troubled the world from the very beginning.” Bobst was accused of sexually molesting his granddaughter and great-granddaughter. The building’s architect, Philip Johnson, was briefly infatuated with Nazi ideas before the second World War, but recognized his moral failure and sought to make up for it by publicly admitting his “stupidity” and donating the building design for one of the country’s oldest synagogues. Elmer Bobst didn’t apologize for his hate or his behavior. We were right to remove slavery apologist Samuel Morse’s name from the center of our academic community, and we’ll be right to remove Elmer Bobst’s name, too. So, class of 2021: Please take this advice from a student getting ready to graduate and still embarrassed by Bobst’s place here. Take Bobst’s name off our campus. Make that your legacy. Graduate from an NYU that doesn’t have a conspicuous monument to a man who by all accounts was a racist pedophile.
SANCTUARY CAMPUS NOW
NYU SANCTUARY NYU Sanctuary is a coalition of NYU students, faculty, staff, and alumni who believe that, as a self-proclaimed “global network university,” it is the responsibility of NYU to live up to its purported values at all levels and sites of the NYU community through active resistance against the racist and White nationalists policies of the federal government. This is crucial in the wake of attacks by a new political administration that has actively targeted immigrants, undocumented individuals, Muslims, people of color, and other marginalized groups. NYU Sanctuary believes that NYU should establish the university as a Sanctuary Campus to demonstrate solidarity with the most vulnerable among us and commit itself to financially, legally, and politically supporting those being targeted through concrete changes in policy. The “Muslim Ban” and threats against undocumented individuals jeopardize the academic freedom and freedom of movement of students, faculty and staff. NYU is a university whose members have family, community, and networks that extend beyond the United States. The immigration status of some of our own faculty, staff, and students is jeopardized by Trump’s attacks on legal immigration. We strongly believe that we must move to declare that our institution values and protects diverse communities in the United States and beyond; these protections are the critical heart of our collective academic engagement and inquiry. Concretely, establishing NYU as a Sanctuary Campus also assists those specially targeted for exceptional treatment by providing resources, succor, and legal assistance. NYU prides itself on its internationally diverse student body. Yet, the administration has remained quiet and inactive in response to the threats Trump poses to non-citizens. For a university that markets itself as a “global network university” the tepid response to Trump is both morally reprehensible and institutionally short-sighted. After all, one must imagine that foreign parents will think twice about enrolling their children in a university that has done so little to respond to the threats Trump poses to international students. The NYU administration’s apathetic response to nativist and Islamophobic rhetoric and policies is wholly insufficient for a university that proclaims a “global mission” of “educating students as international citizens.” Immediately after the election of 45, a group of NYU students, faculty, staff, and joined together to discuss the path forward for supporting and protecting students who were likely to be targeted by the actions of a President who had spent the campaign threatening immigrants, undocumented individuals, Muslims, and people of other marginalized social identities. Early in Spring 2017, Sanctuary activists organized a teach-in and NYU-community meeting to establish working groups and pressure the NYU administration to establish policies to counteract 45’s policies including the initial Muslim ban. In January, and throughout the semester, numerous departments, institutes, and student groups signed onto and delivered an open letter to President Hamilton urging him to declare NYU a sanctuary--a request the administration continues to reject. NYU Sanctuary held protests in the student center, which led to meetings with NYU administration, visited classrooms across campus to expand awareness and participation in the movement, organized and participated in the Mayday teach-in and strike. NYU Sanctuary is currently compiling a “Sanctuary Syllabus” with primary and secondary resources on the Sanctuary movement and its relationship to issues including policing, citizenship, settler colonialism, and labor.
The Sanctuary movement can trace its roots back to the stowaway houses and escape roots of the abolition movement, but is most associated with efforts to protect Latin American refugees in the 1980s. Religious leaders along the southern U.S. border established their houses of worship as “sanctuaries,” providing shelter, material good, publicity, and legal advice for individuals fleeing violence in Latin America who faced an unfavorable asylum system, including deportation from the U.S. despite the real threat of violence should they return to their countries of origin. Religious leaders and civilians coordinated routes for transferring individuals to Public Sanctuary communities. Many refugees spoke publicly about their personal history and experiences, expanding awareness about conditions in Central America and in the United States. The movement included Presbyterian, Quakers, Unitarian, Catholic and Jewish congregations, many located on university campuses. NYU Sanctuary sees ourselves as situated in a long history of resistance. We are working together with the New Sanctuary Coalition as part of the national Sanctuary movement. Our efforts at NYU and in the wider community are part of a larger movement to create robust institutions, political forms, and policy that reflect values of tolerance, hospitality, fairness, and social and economic justice. By declaring NYU a Sanctuary Campus, the University pledges: ● Not to voluntarily share any information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or other federal agencies to the fullest extent possible under the law; ● Not to allow ICE physical access to any buildings or land owned or controlled by the university to the fullest extent possible under the law; ● To train campus security staff to respond to federal agents seeking access; and instruct security staff to refuse to participate in the actions of any agency that deals with immigration regulation; ● To prohibit campus security from inquiring about or recording any information regarding an individual’s immigration status; ● To prohibit all housing discrimination based on immigration status or religious affiliation, and provide emergency housing for noncitizen students who cannot go home during academic breaks; ● To provide access to competent and expanded legal support for noncitizen, Muslim, and LGBTQ students and staff, those with undocumented family members, and others rendered vulnerable by federal, state, or city orders that contravene the University’s commitment to diversity, freedom, and equality; ● To expand access to financial aid for noncitizen students, especially those who might be affected by a repeal or change in DACA; ● To commit ongoing resources to create and sustain on-campus working groups to assess and address the evolving needs of undocumented students and staff, students and staff of color, students and staff with disabilities, LGBTQ students and staff, and otherwise marginalized students and staff. ● To distance the University’s investments from anti-immigrant measures by divesting from companies or funds that stand to profit from these measures, such as private prisons
President Hamilton has claimed that sanctuary is an “empty term” and that the university will deal with students effected on a case-by-case basis. Why does NYU Sanctuary disagree with this analysis? His “commitments” do not go far enough in protecting our students and staff and do not provide the full range of protections that we have outlined in our demands. Hamilton has stated that his goal is “affording our full protection and support to everyone who lives, studies, and works at NYU.” This is not what he has done. There will never be this true form of protection and support as long as NYU is bound up with Trump admin: John Paulson, a vocal Trump supporter, is on the Board of Trustees; NYU rents space from the Kushners; Ken Langone, another vocal Trump supporter is a major NYU investor.
Why do we need sanctuary if New York City is a sanctuary city? The declaration of Sanctuary is about the proactive commitment of (financial, legal, housing) resources, something that NYC can’t do for NYU, its students, faculty, and staff
What about President Hamilton’s claim that Sanctuary has “no substance” and that using the term will only cause confusion? This deflects the debate away from our concrete demands and concerns and toward “linguistic ambiguity.” If President Hamilton is not satisfied with the term’s “clarity,” then he has only to look to our clear demands to see that we have defined sanctuary in concrete terms. The term may not have an air tight clear legal definition at this point, however it has a strong history that emerges out of religious iterations, and evidently is powerful enough that cities, universities, places of worship, and even restaurants have now taken it up as a demonstration of solidarity What does Sanctuary really mean on a diffuse “campus” like NYU? As with all declarations of Sanctuary (even cities), its implementation requires that we organize at both micro and macro levels. A declaration of Sanctuary Campus is not, in and of itself, enough to protect our most vulnerable communities, however it: Offers a commitment of the financial resources needed to support affected students, faculty, and staff to the best of the University’s ability Provides an institutional commitment of political support that will enable us––as students, faculty, and staff––to better organize in our departments, our classrooms, our institutes, and our public spaces Sets the tone for the University’s (political) program under a Trump administration Isn’t declaring Sanctuary merely symbolic? Yes, Sanctuary does have symbolic value, but this does not mean that it is meaningless or empty. Declaring Sanctuary is also about adopting a proactive response to the violence that Trump’s administration has already enacted and promised more of––it is about the commitment of financial resources and making a pledge to protect the most vulnerable amongst us. It is a show of solidarity with vulnerable students, staff, and faculty, as well community members and aligns the university with the position of the city in which it is housed and from which it draws many resources. Moreover, it is a reiteration of the university’s motto: “a private university in the public service.” Declaring Sanctuary is also about taking a public stand against a Trump administration and being a leader in the fight against white supremacy, islamophobia, fascism, and other systems of oppression. What about the risks associated with declaring NYU a Sanctuary Campus? Administration has created a narrative that declaring NYU a Sanctuary Campus puts both the university and students affected by the policies of the Trump administration at risk. However, we’ve been working closely with members of different groups that these policies directly impact and have been met with full support from these individuals. We are not asking for the directly impacted members of the university to put themselves at risk, and we respect the concerns and agency of directly affected individuals who may not want to aligned themselves with Sanctuary due to safety concerns. We are asking that the university puts the safety and prosperity of its student body at the forefront and truly do all that they can to ensure that those affected by these recent policies are supported in every way. By doing things like allowing ICE to recruit on campus during career fairs and refusing to officially declare Sanctuary, NYU has shown us that their student body is not a priority, and that is something that needs to change.
Challenging the Petrocracy at NYU NYU Divest is a coalition of students, faculty, staff, and alumni that has worked since 2012 to align the university’s investment practices with the imperatives of climate change mitigation and climate justice – this means divesting from the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies.
“The stakes for humanity could not be higher. These students are leading a struggle to ensure a livable future on this planet, for all of us…”
2016 Faculty Open Letter Supporting NYU Divest’s Occupation
As of 2015, NYU’s endowment invests $139 million dollars in the fossil fuel industry (coal, oil, and natural gas), including $700,000 in direct shares. To this date, in the face of worsening, often unlivable climate conditions across the planet, our university has taken no action to remove any of these investments. It has rejected the NYU community’s call to divest from the fossil fuel industry, even though the freezing of fossil fuel investments received 80% support and only 8% opposition from the University Senate, the highest representative body in the university, in 2014. The political outlook for climate action in the US could scarcely be worse. From US foreign policy to the displays at the EPA museum, coal, oil, and gas interests have flooded every American federal government function with crystalline conspicuousness. These companies simultaneously sponsor outright science denial–efforts to send thousands of textbooks that deny climate change to public schools or the muzzling of EPA scientists–and encourage equally dangerous complacency, endorsing loophole-ridden carbon prices and treating climate summits as “negotiating tables” where the objective is to make agreements as superficial and toothless as possible. Here it may be opportune to explain why some of us at NYU have fondly reserved for President Andrew Hamilton the alias “British Petroleum.” Yes, both Andy and BP are entities with origins in Britain and global ambitions. Yes, most of their utterances and writing are relatively transparent attempts at greenwashing and other types of washing. No, neither of them publicly deny climate change. And when the moment comes for recognizing the transformation and sacrifice that curbing climate change actually requires, both of them stop short at the surface, because what we need to sacrifice is the fossil fuel economy and any of its potential profits. In response to Trump’s Paris exit, Hamilton signed the #WeAreStillIn petition on behalf of NYU, joining hundreds of institutions which committed to honoring the agreement’s targets. The petition promised that signatories would “remain actively engaged with the global effort to hold warming well below 2oC and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.” British Petroleum also protested the Paris exit. NYU Trustee and Trump advisor Larry Fink issued the following statement: “I do not agree with all of the President’s policies and decisions, including [the] exit the US from the Paris Agreement which I believe is a critical step forward in addressing climate change”. Despite this statement, Fink remains a member of Trump’s advisory committee. He is also the CEO of BlackRock, which manages over $1 Million shares in Energy Transfer Partners, the company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline. Such conflicts of interest lead us to question whether we can trust Trustees like Mr. Fink to make responsible decisions for our future and our planet. BlackRock’s choices in investment raise the question of how exactly Mr. Fink thinks we are going to limit warming below 2o C.
Fossil fuels are no longer a politically or climatologically neutral investment. As of September 2016, every new oil or gas extraction project, beyond those already in operation, will have guaranteed a high risk of warming above 1.5o C. The exhaustion of currently operating coal mines would take us beyond 2oC, and combusting all untapped fossil fuel reserves will take us far beyond 4oC. The industrial processes that create climate change, especially fossil fuel extraction, disproportionately benefit oligarchs and petrocrats. Meanwhile, climate change further redistributes the risk of death, disease, loss of livelihood, conflict, and famine to the poorest people on this planet, to people of color, and to indigenous communities. We are already seeing this redistribution at work in the burns sustained by homeless populations in Southwestern states due to blistering temperatures, the destruction of hurricane Harvey which will take years to repair, and which some may never recover from, and the 2006 drought in Syria, which exacerbated existing political tensions and the current global humanitarian crisis faced by Syrian climate refugees. Our board’s refusal to divest from fossil fuels is informed by the belief–at bottom racist and classist–that our wealthy and ever-metastasizing institution needs and deserves fossil fuel profits more than the Earth’s people need and deserve a stable climate. In the 2016 memorandum announcing the Board of Trustee’s refusal to divest from fossil fuels, President Hamilton and Board Chair William Berkley praised fossil fuel companies for being “major investors in alternative energy research and ventures.” To transform the global energy mix, adding in a few marginal investments in “alternative energy”–whatever that means–is not enough: enormous amounts of capital must be diverted away from dirty energy.
Hamilton’s attempts to align NYU with the movement against Trump’s environmental decisions remains inconsequential so long as NYU’s endowment continues to finance and endorse the companies writing this government’s disastrous policies. The last thing our planet needs is British Petroleum’s brand of climate complacency and Hamilton’s cowardice in the face of fossil fuel interests. We need to fiercely challenge the status quo and pursue deep decarbonization. Our current work: Launched in the Spring of 2017, #OnBoardWithDivestment educates NYU about its trustees, their fossil fuel ties and other conflicts of interests. We have organized calling, emailing, and visiting efforts to show the Trustees that they cannot exploit their anonymity to make unaccountable decisions in our name. The Trustees covered so far include Joseph Steinberg, Anthony Welters, and our Board’s Chair, William Berkley. We believe that these trustees should be recused from any deliberation and decisionmaking on fossil fuel divestment. Visit nyudivest.com/on-board-with-divestment and the #TrusteeOfTheWeek to learn more. Since Fall of 2016 we have allied with NAISG- Native American and Indigenous Student Group to organize in support of the Standing Rock Water Protectors and resist the AIM and Pilgrim pipelines locally. We stand in support of Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp and its resistance of the Pilgrim pipelines. We are introducing a resolution to the University Senate demanding a re-vote on divestment, stressing the urgent imperative to drop our direct shares in Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy. The resolution includes demands for transparency, student participation, and the recusal of Trustees with conflicts of interests. Join us for another year of direct action, art, intersectionality, and student power.
“SJP UNCOVERED: SJP SIDES WITH TERRORISTS! THEY SUPPORT VIOLENCE! WHEN WILL SJP END THE HATE?” As flattered as we are by the attention that Zionist propaganda organizations like SJP Uncovered have given us, we the Students for Justice in Palestine are shockingly not here to promote a violent, hateful agenda. Instead, we endorse the opposite: justice for the Palestinian people who have been ruthlessly oppressed by Israel. We work in solidarity with the Palestinian people calling for an end to the occupation of Palestine, a just resolution of the plight of the refugees, and the recognition of full equal rights of Palestinians. With Palestinians enduring a perpetual occupation and withholding of basic rights at the hands of the Israeli government, we believe it is our responsibility not to sit idly by, but rather to act. NYU, however, would rather us stay silent. When NYU’s Graduate Student Union passed a Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) resolution in 2016, the first private university labor union to do so, President Hamilton was quick to publicly condemn the action as “contrary to [NYU’s] core principles of academic freedom, antithetical to the exchange of ideas, and at odds with the University’s position on this matter.” In our view, the asymmetrical condemnation that Palestinian activists and those in solidarity receive is what is really contrary to NYU’s core principles. When Students for Justice in Palestine received multiple graphic assault and death threats, the administration remained markedly silent on the matter despite several requests by SJP for a public statement. The administration has shown an obvious desire to coddle Zionist organizations and individuals at the expense of our safety on campus. Is this not a move that goes against the core principles to which Hamilton so lovingly clings? As part of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, an essential branch of BDS, we SJP believe that it is essential to break ties with all Israeli academic and cultural institutions that are complicit in the occupation and/or oppression of Palestinians. This notably includes NYU’s own site in Tel Aviv. Given Hamilton’s desire to stay true to NYU principles, one would expect him to echo SJP’s call for the shutdown of NYU Tel Aviv; of course, he has not. The study abroad site located in Israel’s core violates NYU’s own non-discrimination policies, which state that discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or citizenship status, among other things, is “unlawful and undermines the character and purpose of the University… and will not be tolerated.” Students of Palestinian descent, or Arab descent more broadly, are distinctly prohibited from studying at the Tel Aviv site. If certain students are not allowed to attend school at a site based solely on their ethnicity and/or nationality, then it must follow that said site be closed in favor of more open and nondiscriminatory locations. It is necessary that we the students wholeheartedly reject the administration’s desire to silence us. Instead of accepting Hamilton’s flippant and hypocritical attitude regarding the safety of our students and the university’s nondiscrimination policies, we demand that SJP be given the same rights and respect as other clubs on campus. We call on the university, in keeping in line with its aforementioned “core principles,” to shut down its study abroad site in Tel Aviv.
Welcome to Manahatta:
As you begin your time at NYU, it is important to think about the history of the place you are standing. Washington Square and the island of Manhattan is originally the homelands of the Lenape People. In fact, the original, unanglicised name is Manahatta. This land has a history before Broadway became a major theatre hub, it was a major trade route and trail for the Indigenous People of this land. As it pertains to NYU, we have a long way to go in terms of decolonization. NYU HAS NO NATIVE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OR NATIVE CULTURAL CENTER. THERE ARE NO NATIVE ADMINISTRATORS. While NYU has made strides to include Native Studies in the College of Arts and Science there are still delays and roadblocks to creating a Native Studies Minor. However, we are pleased to welcome Elizabeth Ellis to the History department. She is one of 3 known Indigenous Faculty at NYU. Native Students in the past have found refuge in classes on decolonization and Critical Indigenous Theory taught by Dean Saranillio. However, it is so important for NYU to recognize that Native Students and others should be learning Indigenous concepts and history from Indigenous scholars. NYU has representation from 48 states this year with exception of North and South Dakota. These are 2 states who have several Native Students for NYU to recruit. Especially since it was reported by Marc Wais that Natives Students make up .5% of NYU’s student body. However, I want to investigate these numbers more as only 3 or 4 years ago, we were .02%. NYU needs to take an active approach to recruit Native American, Indigenous, First Nations and Aboriginal Students. And then take further steps to keep these students in school to receive their degree. Other schools do this through their Native American Cultural Centers, but NYU does not have any type of institutional support for their Indigenous Students. In terms of student affairs and clubs, NYU does have a Native American and Indigenous Student Group. While a historically small group, it has hosted the only Native Film Festival in New York City, teach-ins regarding Standing Rock and other environmental racism instances, Culture Not a Costume Campaigns, and a movement to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day. The group has done its best to keep Native Student interests at the forefront of NYU admin’s minds. The individual students also operate outside of the club to foster relationships with city organizations such as American Indian Community House, Museum of the American Indian and Eagle Condor Center to support themselves as Native Students in New York City. FUN FACT: NYC has the highest urban population of Native and Indigenous people in the US. However, it is noteworthy, that no staff member in CMEP, GCASL, or CSALS identifies as indigenous. Meaning that the weight of advocating for Indigenous Students and People falls on the shoulders of Native Students. It is unacceptable for NYU President, Andy Hamilton to reject the idea of recognizing the ancestral land of the Lenape during the Presidential Welcome this year. This was a decision that disheartened us, but only encouraged us to fight harder in order for NYU to recognize its part in the subjugation of Indigenous People. Since there has been little institutional effort, NYU’s Native and Indigenous Students would like to welcome you to NYU and remind you that every inch of this campus, from Gramercy Green, Kimmel, Bobst, Lafeyette, all the way to the Brooklyn Campus are situation on Lenape Land. This is Indigenous Land. This is stolen land. This is land that was “settled upon” using the sweat of our Black relatives. This is land that is maintained by indigenous immigrants from the South. We are still here and we want recognition and justice.
$71,754 And Counting!
The Politicization of Latine Identity Latinos Unidos con Honor y Amistad (LUCHA)
To all my Latine folks out there, first off congratulations. You’ve made it to NYU. Now comes the hard part. I’m not talking about classes or living in New York (all incredibly difficult things, mind you; no, I’m talking about the transformative changes you are expected to make as a college student (of color)—first gen or otherwise. Particularly, coming to understand your identity as a reflection of your experiences and your history is a painstaking and liberating process that will challenge you in ways you won’t completely understand for years. To understand your placement at NYU – that is, the niche community of which you are inherently a part of (as a Latine) – you will also come to gradually understand your placement in the States. As a person of color, your identity is inherently and inextricably political. From the terms we use to describe our cultural heritage to the history behind it and how we express our identity as Latines, our lives are politically charged. In actuality, our very existence in this white supremacist colonial nation state as people of color is a political statement. When it comes to understanding our identity, the catalyst for this process can come from several different points. For you, it might be walking into your dorm and being immediately questioned for your decorations or your last name. You’d be surprised how many ignorant problematic folks have made it into this university. It’s okay; we’re all problematic on some level. The best thing we can do is come to understand where we lack as individuals and shore up on these deficiencies. As Latines, understanding the core of our identity comes from a historical perspective; from our existence as indigenous peoples pre-contact through the oppression by the States in our distinctive national politics, we share a collective history that should be tapped into in times of distress as a rallying point. Our collective history should drive us daily to become better as individuals and as a community. Our collective history should provide us with points of reflection as we come to understand our position in the States and at NYU. Our collective history should bring us together as a people, a pueblo if you will, and create the community from which all will flow endlessly in all directions.
FOR THE MANY, NOT THE FEW The world we live in seemingly becomes increasingly nonsensical by the day, and the traditional systems of organization and rules no longer function or matter. This permeates everything from our national politics and economy, all the way down to our university. Why is it that attending NYU cost upwards of over $70,000 a year? Why does our tuition increase at a rate faster than inflation? What is making this city and our education so incredibly expensive? The justification always seems lackluster and it’s easy to resign in the momentous size of the accepted, surreal logic. But we’re asking students--many of whom are in this school because of their ambition and creativity--to indulge in their imagination of a more equitable world. Where a student and their education isn’t commodified, but incredibly integral aspects in our society that deserve respect and some baseline financial security to live out to their full potential. We are NYU’s chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, America’s largest socialist organization. In an era of racial, ecological, and political upheaval, we believe that not only is a new society possible, it is necessary for our survival.As democratic socialists, we believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. We are a political and activist organization, not a party; we are a big-tent organization that treats politics as a learning experience rather than a dogma; we use a variety of tactics, from legislative to direct action, to fight for reforms that empower working people. NYU’s chapter will draw from the breadth of ideas and experience of the national organization, while speaking to our concerns as students located in one of the most progressive and unequal cities in the nation. This is an urgent time, and we want an open and inclusive space for students at NYU to hear and debate new political ideas, to learn about activism and how different struggles can move forward together, and to support each other and all those who lose out from the current order. DSA is growing across the nation not just because people know that something fundamental needs to be changed about this society and that the current approaches are not cutting it, but also that we’ve been determined to present in a coherent, simple, and positive way why those of us on the left are both the best defenders of social liberties and the best agitators for systemic and material change. Our generation, which has witnessed now two giant economic bubbles burst, found an unexpected voice in Bernie Sanders, who broke with the common political wisdom we grew up with and articulated a full-throated critique we had been waiting for. He showed us how a candidate who runs a campaign based on policy with material impact, who proposes anti-austerity measures, who promotes class consciousness over minority divisions, and above all, elucidates a positive, yet realistic, vision of a leftist future is actually the strongest candidate to deal with the problems of today--Jeremy Corbyn in Great Britain provided further proof of concept. Our campus chapter is founded by people who’ve heard that call, for all the people who are thinking about “What do I do?” We want to be a space where activists on a whole number of issues can come together to think about strategy, to learn techniques for advancing their causes, and can articulate a shared vision. We’re determined to grow active members of the community on campus and around the village, building trust-based relationships through solidarity, being receptive to people’s’ needs, and fighting various oppressive forces (racism, sexism, classism, gentrification, etc). We want to bring a lively culture of debate and speakers to campus that will ask surprising questions and help us think outside of the box to address the demands our generation faces. We want, more than anything, to generate a diverse and democratic culture, where each person can realize her creative potential too often undermined by systems that order her around and drive her to pursue the struggle for existence with ruthless efficiency. We believe that shared prosperity and peace are possible if every person is, more than “consulted”, but given a real and effective say-so in the decisions that shape her life. No time like the present to find out what this means for NYU.
The Fight Against Capitalism and the Neoliberal University
The International Socialist Organization is a group of students, activists, workers, teachers, and more who are dedicated to overthrowing capitalism through revolutionary socialism and Marxism. At the NYU branch, we seek to build radical student movements on campus to challenge NYU’s corporate greed as well as organize in the New York City area. Our branches across the country are dedicated to eradicating oppression and fighting for a socialist society. NYU’s history of corporate greed should be no secret to any incoming students. As a neoliberal university, NYU has increasingly focused on profit-driven projects rather than improving the lives of their students. To compete with other corporate universities, NYU sought to brand itself as a “global network university.” While that sounds intriguing, the establishment of this reputation has come with vicious treatment of overseas workers and tuition hikes for students. In the construction of NYU Abu Dhabi, an effort to expand as a “global network university,” the university failed to protect one-third of workers from forced labor1. Many construction workers were subjected to harsh working conditions and no pay, leading to a strike. As reported in Jacobin, one of the most damning allegations was “the sudden deportation in 2013 of 250 striking migrant workers, many of whom were builders contracted for work on the NYU facility. The university still hasn’t admitted any responsibility for this mass expulsion, nor has it offered any compensation to the deported workers.”2 John Sexton, who was president at the time, maintained that he was completely unaware of the details of the contract, despite one of the policy’s major beneficiaries, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, being on the NYU board of trustees. NYU’s horrific negligence, or outright disregard for workers’ lives in the name of saving one billionaire trustee some money, is just one example of the universities continued adherence to neoliberal, corporate practices and prioritization of profit over all. In 2012-13, NYU was listed as the second most expensive university in the country3, and has continued to raise the cost of tuition each year. John Sexton and now Andrew Hamilton have defended this by citing that each university increases its tuition annually. This is true, but this represents the increasing corporatization of all U.S. universities, and not something we should regard as normal or acceptable. NYU’s hefty price tag will hardly be going back into your education. Instead, NYU has concocted the NYU 2031 plan, which consists of expanding NYU further into downtown Manhattan and building new spaces for athletics, dormitories, and education to accommodate increasingly larger class sizes. Yet, NYU has already been accepting notably larger freshman class sizes, and classes are becoming more crowded while tuition increases. A board of trustees member also described NYU 2031 as a “real estate deal,” as reported by NYU Local: “…it’s not unexpected for NYU to pursue a plan that is, in essence, a real estate deal designed to attract applicants and increase prestige while secondarily meeting the needs of students right now. (The phrase “real estate deal” comes directly from a member of the Board of Trustees. According to Professor Mark Crispin Miller, Trustee Leonard Wilf said explicitly in a conversation with him and Professor Bo Riccobono that 2031 “is not an academic plan. It’s a real estate deal.”)4 _________________________________________ 1 Saul, Stephanie. “N.Y.U Labor Guidelines Failed to Protect 10,000 Workers in Abu Dhabi, Report Says”. New York Times. 16 April 2015 2 Walters, Jonah. “The Exploitation University”. Jacobin 23 May 2015 1 CBS News. “Top 10 Most Expensive Colleges in America”. 4 Chin, Jimmy. “Why The 2031 Plan is Untenable”. NYU Local. 24 April 2015
While the deal is clearly motivated by profit and potential revenue from application fees and a higher volume of tuition payments, the administration will maintain that it’s for the good of the students. If we look a little closer, we see that as capitalism pushes universities into neoliberal policies that harm students and faculty. While many of your professors at NYU will be adjunct teachers, the administration fights against potential unionization, pays horribly, and viciously exploits the labor of adjunct faculty.5 NYU has also fought tooth and nail with your future TAs, who won a fair union contract after months of organizing, struggling, and negotiations with the administration. NYU will claim to be bastion of progressive ideals, but continues to operate an academic facility in the apartheid state of Israel. NYU will maintain its support for Israel and thereby its support of the abuse and massacre of Palestinians. Andy Hamilton sent out a university-wide email to specifically condemn the grad student union’s democratic decision to support the BDS movement. NYU has investments in Israel, in apartheid, in maintaining its Tel Aviv campus. The motive, as we can see, is always profit. If we do not continue to resist, and fight for the rights of students, faculty, and all workers, NYU will continue to abuse its professors and raise tuition beyond any reasonable price for a middle class, let alone working class family. As we believe NYU’s neoliberal and corporate practices, supported by a capitalist system, as the root of all these oppressive and exploitative tactics, we believe the movement against the corporatization of higher education must be anti-capitalist, and fighting for socialism. As socialists, we see our struggles against racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, white supremacy, and more, as intersecting amongst one another, being perpetuated by capitalism. We believe capitalism is the common enemy of all oppressed and marginalized people in the world, and that the only thing that can defeat it is if we all organize and fight together. We believe an international, working class lead revolution is the only thing that can destroy capitalism, and we know it won’t happen unless we’re organized. Guided by the principles of Marxism and revolutionary socialism, the ISO seeks to build the movement we need to win. As members of the International Socialist Organization, we invite you to join a movement for the liberation of all people. We invite you to join not only a club, but an international political project dedicated to the eradication of oppression and exploitation at the hands of the capitalist system. __________________________________ 5 Moser, Richard. “Overuse and Abuse of Adjunct Faculty Members Threaten Core Academic Values”. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 13 January 2014
41 New York University Like many other Jewish people, we were raised to believe that our safety, survival and collective identity depends wholly on the Jewish nation-state of Israel. As a group of Jewish activists committed to justice, we reject these notions. We reject the ideological hegemony that situates itself at the core of American Jewish institutions, and the perpetuation of unyielding and unequivocal espousal of the state of Israel within our synagogues, youth groups, and campuses. We reject the conflation of Zionism and Judaism, and we call for an end to Israel’s decades-long occupation, apartheid, denial of refugee rights, and systemic oppression of the Palestinian people. “Jewish Voice for Peace,” or JVP, is new to NYU. The idea for forming a JVP emerged from our realization that no space existed at NYU for leftist Jewish students opposed to Israel’s egregious treatment of the Palestinian people and the occupation of Palestine. Many of us at JVP have organized with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP); however, while we are still involved with SJP and expect JVP to be so, as well, we recognize the indispensability of having a vociferous Jewish voice calling for justice in Palestine at NYU and in our greater communities. Along with ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, JVP seeks security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians, a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law, an end to violence against civilians, and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East. To achieve these goals, we plan to investigate, expose and challenge NYU’s complicity in enabling Israel’s human rights abuses and violations of international law. At NYU, we hear all the time that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, and that the work of groups like SJP makes Jewish students unsafe. As Jewish students committed to a just peace in Israel/Palestine, we wholly reject this notion. Criticism of the Israeli government for its past and present human rights violations is not anti-Semitic; rather, such principled criticism resonates with values of justice and liberation that we, as Jews, hold dear. In the era of Trump and the neo-Nazi alt-right, we are committed to fighting real anti-Semitism wherever it occurs, on and off campus. As a Jewish Voice for Peace chapter, we apply JVP’s national guiding principles to our work at NYU. The foundation of our work begins with a universal opposition to anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression, anti-Semitism, racism, and discrimination of any kind. From that indelible basis, we align ourselves with other movements for justice and work alongside a broad spectrum of organizations. With a devotion to grassroots organizing and a recognition of our capacity to create change, we base our work on the longstanding Jewish tradition of social justice and action. Inspired by our heritage, we heed the call of Palestinians by participating in the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement. Many American Jewish institutions pathologize BDS and even train Jewish teenagers to fight BDS on college campuses. As there is no lack of misinformation regarding BDS, we believe that it is our responsibility to correct the record on what BDS actually is. BDS is a means of non-violent resistance that employs a set of tactics meant to target Israeli institutions and organizations that are complicit in the oppression of Palestinian people and the ongoing occupation. We plan to dispel the BDS mythos that are left undisputed at NYU.
Furthermore, we seek to challenge NYU’s Jewish community to consider what pluralism truly means. Jewish people who have aligned themselves with the struggle for Palestinian liberation are often ostracized from their Jewish communities. At NYU, we fear that this pattern will continue. We call on NYU’s institutionalized Jewish communities to consider their place in this ongoing conflict and welcome JVP’s voice to the conversation. If you have any questions or are interested in getting involved, email NYU@jewishvoiceforpeace.org.
Trolls Under the Bridge: Combatting the Alt-Right on Campus
by NYU Against Fascism
If the evening news is to be believed, the college campus is a warzone. The media loves to fixate on student activism at universities, since it kills two birds with one stone: it’s the same pro wrestling-like thrill of the conservative bad guy that lead to the rise of Trump, and it’s an opportunity to discredit the “lunatic left,” “self-indulgent academics”, and “crybaby students.” But as the recent events of Charlottesville have taught us, this isn’t just benign trash TV fodder. There is a rising tendency—particularly among a certain set of college-aged, upper middle class, white men—that wants to reassert patriarchal, white supremacist, and so-called traditionalist values. It’s a violent ideology and it badly wants to enter mainstream public discourse, and it can’t simply be ignored. NYU is a unique site for this culture war. On one hand, it undeniably markets itself as a bastion of liberal and cosmopolitanism ideals, with its global campus program and its emphasis on diversity in its branding. On the other, it dances around when it comes to making politically meaningful decisions like divestment, student demands, or naming itself a sanctuary campus. It’s been woefully negligent when it comes to addressing a myriad of on-campus far-right activity. The shifting character of the American right, which during the Bush years was characterized by family values conservatism, evangelical Christianity, and “fiscal responsibility,” has been reflected by NYU groups like the NYU College Republicans. Given the stereotypical liberal atmosphere, the NYUCR has always been a bit of a “troll” organization—in 2007, they made headlines for hosting a ‘Find the Illegal Immigrant’ event—but noticeably over the course of the Trump election their event planning has shifted to embracing the most outrageous alt-right talking heads. A brief roll call of those invited: disgraced Breitbart writer Milo Yiannapolis, whose event was cancelled by the Center for Student Activities, Leadership, and Service citing safety concerns; Gavin McInnes, the co-founder of VICE turned prolific anti-feminist and anti-immigration Internet radio host; Lucian Wintrich, a particularly empty political commentator who achieved notoriety for his Twinks4Trump photo series; and Michael Rectenwald, the NYU Liberal Studies professor who got his 15 minutes of fame by authoring an anonymous Twitter account called NYU College GOP Treasuer Jack Kapulsky @antiPCnyuprof. A true breakfast of champions. with Gavin McInnes These events are tiresome, draining of university resources, and unsafe, both for bringing hate speech and large posses of riot gear NYPD cops into student centers. The Gavin McInnes event, taking place days after the inauguration of Donald Trump, was especially gruesome in this regard. McInnes has spearheaded a farright men’s group called the Proud Boys that advocates “Western values” and encourages street violence as a barrier of entry. Advertised by the NYU College Republicans as open to the public and “basically a Proud Boys meet up,” the meeting was met with a large-scale protest and a subsequent last-minute closing of the event to NYU students only. Violence erupted outside Kimmel Center and several non-NYU students were arrested. On the inside, protests blocked McInnes from speaking, causing him to frustratedly call NYU VP of Student Affairs Marc Wais a “cuck.”
Following the event, Gavin McInnes publicly harassed an NYU student reporter, leading to countless death threats and ridicules of her appearance on social media. Several NYU professors were incorrectly identified as a protester of the event in a viral video, leading to systematic e-mail harassment and death threats. NYU spokesperson John Beckman made a public statement distancing the university from the woman in the video, noting without a hint of irony that “Lastly, NYU would note that in any case threats and harassment have no place in public discourse.” NYU was meanwhile silent about McInnes’ routine harassment, or the concurrent death threats made against NYU Students for Justice in Palestine. Convenient. It’s not the case that this is just a few rogue students facilitating these alt-right publicity stunts. It is enabled by a good ol’ boy network of alumnis, professors, admins, and board members that ensure there is a conservative undercurrent to the university’s structure. For example, Lawrence Mead, a longtime politics professor, welfare reform theorist and former Kissinger speechwriter, helped facilitate the Charles Murray/National Enterprise Institute talk at the Torchlight Cafe in March 2017. Murray, known for his book The Bell Curve, has made a name for himself by dressing up old school white supremaNYU Professor Michael Rectenwald in Bill O’Reilly’s cist rhetoric in new school dry polisci academia. chair
The stirrings of far-right activity on campus, in student spaces like Kimmel or the Torchlight, should be met with proactive concern. NYU Against Fascism, a loose coalition of students and alumni, was formed in response to the Gavin McInnes talk primarily as a resource for understanding this new breed of right-wing organizing and developing reactive strategies for combatting it. We believe that the character of these far-right groups are not well understood by the NYU administration, and the danger they pose to the safety of the school is underestimated by the student life offices. We believe that racist, sexist and xenophobic ideology is built into the fabric of NYU, and that its refusal to acknowledge a mounting right-wing presence on campus is part of this. We believe in student power: our tuition money pays for Kimmel Student Center, the lofty salaries and housing of NYU admins, investment into holdings in fossil fuel companies, private prisons, and anti-Palestinian security firms. We should have a say, and we should feel comfortable exercising it. We believe that the common tactic of gesturing towards “free speech” and holding one’s hands in the air in helplessness is no longer sufficient—it’s ignorant of the already right-aligned frames placed on the terms of these “conversations,” and of how power is built and executed. We think the student left needs to get smart about bashing fascists. It needs to do its homework: no more being caught by reporters not having read up on the far-right thinker you’re protesting. It needs to protect itself against systematic harassment and “doxxing.” It needs to rigorously document far-right activities. It needs to not be afraid to get its hands dirty—there should be 100+ students with raised fists next time a speaker with a known track record of threatening marginalized students or peoples gets on the podium.
A Guide to Being TGNC at NYU
NYU certainly prides itself on being widely known as an LGBTQ+ friendly school. That being said, navigating the university as a trans or GNC person can often be difficult and confusing. Below is a comprehensive look through NYU’s policies and resources, keeping in mind that they are imperfect and require much more work in order to properly serve TGNC students. The LGBTQ Center, located on the 6th floor of Kimmel, operates Monday - Thursday from 9 AM - 8 PM and Friday from 9 AM - 5 PM. Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment In November 2005, the New York University Senate passed a resolution adding “gender identity and expression” to the University’s Equal Opportunity Statement. In addition the University’s Anti-Harassment Policy was amended to be inclusive as well. As a result of this addition to the Anti-Harassment Policy, it is now against NYU’s policy to discriminate against anyone on the basis of their perceived or actual gender identity or expression. Since this landmark decision, the NYU LGBTQ Student Center has been taking steps to work with a variety of University departments to incorporate trans-inclusive policies and initiatives for members of the NYU community in such areas as: - Name change & Identification Cards - Gender Change - On Campus Housing - Student Health Services - Counseling & Support - Restrooms - Student Groups & Community Building Preferred Name - Students can add/edit a preferred name via their Albert Student Center. - Once a preferred name is entered in Albert, the preferred name will also appear in other systems that use the NYU NetID login such as NYU Classes, ServiceLink, Google Apps and more. - Should you grant Guest User access to Albert Mobile, the guest user will see your preferred name. - Log into your Albert Student Center. - Under “Demographic Information” section, click “Names” link. To add a preferred name: - Click “Add a new name” - Select preferred from the “name type” dropdown - Enter preferred name - Note there must be a first and last preferred name; middle is optional - The date for the name to take effect will default to today’s date; this can be changed if desired - Click “Save” To edit a preferred name - Click “edit” next to the preferred name - Edit the name as above steps - Click “Save”
Gmail Display Name - Click the settings gear located in the upper right corner of your Gmail page, and click the “Settings” option. - In “Settings,” click the “Accounts” tab. - Within the “Accounts” tab, you will see “Send Email As” section. Where you see you email, click the “Edit Info” option to the right. - When you click that, a popup will appear where you can edit how your name displays. - Be sure to click “Save Changes” to finalize the change. - This will not remove your legal name from your Gmail account entirely. When people type in your email, it will often provide them with the legal name your account is registered under. However, when you send emails it will appear as the preferred name you designated. - If you have your name legally changed, it will update in the Gmail account, but your NYU NetID (ie. abc6969) will remain the same. Gender Identity Students can indicate and edit their gender identity in their Albert Student Center. PLEASE NOTE: Changing your gender is different than changing your legal sex. Please see the Legal Sex section to learn how to change that at NYU. - To change your Gender Identity, first log into your Albert Student Center account. - Next, navigate to your Student Center page and click “Demographic Data” under the “Personal Information”tion. - In Demographic Data, navigate to the “Gender Identity (Optional)” section. From this section, you can indicate which of the three options you would like to identify using or leave it blank. - The three Gender Identity options currently available are: ~ Gender Non-Conforming ~ Man Identified ~ Woman Identifed - Click “Save” to confirm your selection. Not clicking save, will not update your Gender Identity. Legal Sex Change The University accepts requests from students to change University records to reflect their current legal sex. Students who change their legal sex may have it updated in Albert by submitting one of the following documents in addition to the Change of Student Information form: - Pre- or post-operative documentation from a qualified health care provider - A letter of support from a qualified mental health professional - A birth certificate or court order legalizing the change - A valid social security card, driver’s license, or passport Changing your Name on an NYUCard:
To change the name on your NYUCard, first you need to change your name with the NYU registry. To do this, please follow the steps listed above for changing your name in the NYU Directory. After you have changed your via the NYU Directory, email Michael Schryer at firstname.lastname@example.org with both what your legal name is and what preferred name you want reflected on your NYUCard. Often times, the Public Safety Directory does not reflect changes you may have made in your Albert account. If you are met with any resistance in the process of updating your NYUCard, the LGBTQ Center will contact Public Safety directly and work it out.
Housing As of Fall 2008, all students have the option to request to be housed based on their gender identity. This option is open to all students, regardless of identity.
If you want to request to be assigned housing based on your gender identity, rather than legal sex, you may indicate that option on the existing housing application. In the housing preference section, click the box Gender Identity, then click the appropriate box indicating Gender Identity Male (GIM) or Gender Identity Female (GIF). You will also have the option to indicate if you have a preferred first name in addition to your legal name as it appears on the application. Since Fall 2013, upperclass students have been able to form roommate groups and select spaces with any other person as potential roommates without regard to gender. Students who choose this option must meet certain requirements intended to maximize the housing options available to all students (i.e. all space in the room/suite must be assigned to students who indicate this preference or the room will default to a legal sex designation). On NYU Housing applications students are asked to list both their legal sex and gender identity. Students who have a particular preference regarding the gender identity of their roomate, should contact NYU Housing at 212-998-4600 (M-F, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm) or email@example.com. Each housing situation is unique and handled on a case-by-case basis. Every effort will be made to honor requests to be housed by gender identity, but if this is not possible, legal sex will be used in determining housing placement. RESOURCES: Transgender and Gender Non Conforming Process Group Tuesdays, 3pm-4pm | 726 Broadway, 4th Floor, Suite 471 This group provides gender non-conforming and transgender students a safe and supportive space to discuss their personal experiences with their identity. This group is facilitated by trans counseling staff here at NYU. If interested, please contact Counseling and Wellness Services* at 212-998-4780. T-Party The LGBTQ Student Centerâ€™s programs and support services for transgender students! Meetings and events for and about the transgender community at NYU. For more information, contact the NYU LGBTQ Student Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or send an email to the T-Party listserv at: email@example.com. The first meeting of the Fall semester will be Wednesday, September 20th from 6 - 7 PM. The club will meet biweekly for the duration of the semester. Breathing Room A laid-back, weekly discussion group for students who are queer or questioning to get together and discuss issues they are facing with their identities or just life in general. Breathing room dates will be sent out through the LGBTQ Centerâ€™s weekly email, OUTPost.* *When contacting the Wellness Center, they will typically refer to you by your legal name rather than your preferred. Trans & GNC folks have had severely mixed experiences through Wellness & Counseling at NYU. There is a transgender counselor, Cooper Sabatino, who runs the support group and who you can make individual appointments with. Appointments must be made by calling the Counseling and Wellness Services directly but you can also reach out to Cooper via email cooper.sabatino@ nyu.edu. *You can sign up for OUTPost by emailing this address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radical Groups On campus and beyond
AT NYU Academic Workers for a Democratic Union, NYU nyuadwu.com contact:email@example.com Democratic Socialists of America, NYU www.dsausa.org/chapters contact: @NYU_DSA, firstname.lastname@example.org Incarceration to Education Coalition, NYU https://iecforchange.wordpress.com contact: email@example.com International Socialist Organization, NYU http://nycsocialist.org/category/nyu/ contact:firstname.lastname@example.org Latinos Unidos con Honor y Amistad facebook.com/nyulucha/ contact: email@example.com NYU Divest http://ny-divest.squarespace.com/ contact: @NYUDIVEST, via website Queer Union http://nyuqueerunion.tumblr.com/ Students for Justice in Palestine, NYU http://nyusjp.org/ contact:@NYUSJP, via website NYU Against Fascism contact: @NYUAntifascists
Student Labor Action Movement, NYU https://nyuslam.wordpress.com/ contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, @NYUSLAM NYU Jewish Voice for Peace facebook.com/nyujvp/ contact: email@example.com
49 IN NYC Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network bangentrification.org contact: info@BANgentrification.org Campaign to Make CUNY Free Again (Free CUNY) facebook.com/freecuny free-cuny.org @makecunyfree Coalition to Protect LES and Chinatown facebook.com/protectchinatownandles contact:firstname.lastname@example.org Desis Rising Up and Moving drumnyc.org contact: via website Millions March NYC millionsmarch.org contact: facebook.com/milllionsmarch/nyc PLACES Bluestockings Bookstore bluestockings.com 172 Allen Street, Manhattan contact: 212-777-6028 The Base thebasebk.org 1302 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn contact: email@example.com Revolution Books http://revolutionbooksnyc.org/ 146 W 26th Street, New York contact: 212-691-3345 Mayday Space https://maydayspace.org 176 St. Nicholas Avenue, Brooklyn contact: via website
FOR STUDENTS BY STUDENTS
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Published on Aug 31, 2017
NYU's Disorientation Guide is a document put together by radical activists and groups to help demystify the systems of power behind our Univ...