Disorientation to introduce freshmen university to controversies

File photo by David Lin/WSN


For the incoming batch of freshmen, the longest summer of their lives is about to come to a close. With over 300 programs and workshops, a carefully crafted Welcome Week is finally here, promising to acquaint new students with everything NYU.

Well, not everything.

Missing from the orientation schedule are events that explore a side of the school that campus tours and receptions do not delve into — rising student debt, no-confidence votes and community protests against NYU’s impending expansion.

Enter NYU Disorientation 2013. The weeklong event aims to bring attention not just to the wonders and opportunities that NYU can offer, but also the debated topics present in our community.

“These are issues that affect everyone … whether they know it now or not,” explained CAS senior George Georgiadis, who is one of the organizers of the first-ever Disorientation.

The organizers of Disorientation, or Diso, said that at the school with the highest tuition costs and some of the most indebted students in the country, these issues are important for freshmen to understand.

“The goal is a genuinely student-run alternative to the official NYU Orientation, [which] is more relevant and coincidentally more subversive,” said CAS senior and Diso organizer Paul Funkhouser.

During Welcome Week, Funkhouser and other contributors will be distributing a student-published guide announcing Diso’s events and highlighting a number of issues. The group has been busy preparing and spreading the word, posting updates on their Twitter and launching a Facebook page and website.

Many freshmen do not have a full idea of what Diso is. Some consider it a simple play on words and a farce of the more traditional orientation process.

“I think it’s really funny,” incoming CAS freshman Cristina Gnecco said. “I don’t know much about it, but I think it’s a good idea.”

Others, like Uday Karri, originally believed Diso to be a form of demonstration.

“At first glance it seemed like a sort of rebellious uprising, but it really isn’t,” Karri said. “It’s actually a wonderful group of people uniting their fellow students to make the most of not just their vital years of university but also their massive investments.”

Georgiadis wants freshmen to know that they are inheriting the university’s problems.

“All of this affects you,” he said. “You have a vested interest in all of these issues. It’s important to get involved in protecting your interests, rather than the interests of a few NYU board members.”

Amid the noise of awkward icebreakers and Amanda Sarah bangers, Diso extends an inviting hand to do something different — an opportunity to be informed about the issues that face the NYU community and be active in bringing forth a solution.

NYU representatives did not respond to requests for comment at time of publication.

A version of this article appeared in the Aug. 25 print edition. Daniel Huang is a deputy news editor. Email him at [email protected]