Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014 12:50 am est

NYU negligent of winter weather impact

Posted on February 13, 2014 | by WSN Editorial Board

The decision to keep NYU open during a potentially hazardous winter storm has caused controversy and represents a significant risk to both students and staff. The university administration has underestimated the obvious risks associated with traveling during a severe snowstorm. The decision is both negligent and dangerous.

Winter Storm Pax is shaping up to be brutal. After hitting the South hard, the storm is expected to bring heavy snowfall to the Northeast starting last night around midnight. Five to 12 inches of snow are expected to hit New York, and this could later turn into sleet or rain. Winds may reach up to speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour around New York City, causing poor visibility conditions. In the tristate area outside of New York, the conditions are set to be even worse. For the large commuter body of NYU, this represents a particular danger. Even the most modest predictions would undoubtedly result in traffic delays affecting anyone who does not live near campus.

A significant proportion of NYU students commute each day. This morning they will undoubtedly be subjected to consistent delays and hazards in what is typically a safe routine journey. In an email yesterday, the NYU administration encouraged “managers and faculty to be flexible” with regard to commuters — ironic, considering its own inflexible decision. Moreover, leaving individual decisions up to managers and professors wrongly alleviates the administration of their own responsibility. Of worthwhile mention, and to the university’s credit, NYU has made clear that it will continue to monitor the storm, and its decision to keep the school open, closely through the night.

A visit to the NYU Secrets page on Facebook, an open, anonymous forum which is followed by over 22,000 people and is a hub of NYU online activity, is the clearest way to witness the separation between the administration and the NYU community. A post uploaded to the site within hours of the aforementioned email from the NYU administration puts the problem succinctly: “I refuse to miss classes because I pay NYU tuition for the education and it’s ridiculous that I have to put myself in danger to get there.”

If the university hopes to improve perceptions among students, it must become receptive to student and staff safety. NYU’s continued negligence deepens the divide between the school’s administration and its students and staff. The National Weather Service has published a winter storm warning for the tristate region where “snowfall will make travel treacherous.” NYU administrators must heed their advice.


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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