NYU administration reveals more plans to broaden inclusion on campus


Abraham Gross

The university seems to be taking the issue of diversity more seriously, but some students still think this action is not enough.

Alex Bazeley, News Editor

NYU continues to take steps to increase the inclusion of students of color on campus, with an email sent out over Thanksgiving break announcing more initiatives to widen the talks of diversity on campus.

The email, sent by Provost David McLaughlin to the NYU community, announced a series of new plans on the part of the university, including a hotline for students of color facing intolerance on campus and the creation of the position of Director of Global Diversity.

These plans following an announcement on Nov. 18 from NYU President John Sexton in which he outlined the university’s plan of action following a diversity forum that had been hosted the day before. Sexton’s email said the university would increase staffing and funding for the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs and begin to a develop a more serious diversity training program — something McLaughlin doubled down on.

“NYU needs effective diversity training for all faculty, staff and students,” McLaughlin’s email read. “We’re requesting that the new ad hoc Committee of the University Senate — created to address issues of diversity and inclusion     work with us quickly to determine how best to accomplish this training.”

The unveiling of these new inclusion initiatives have come in the wake of incidents at campuses across the country, like the University of Missouri and Ithaca College, in which students have accused administrators of inadequate responses to racial conflicts.

The Black and Brown Coalition, one of the groups at the forefront of the student push for a more inclusive campus, said in a statement that conversation has been ongoing between students and NYU administrators and will continue.

“There had been conversations had prior to the Diversity Forum that are still ongoing and we plan to continue as was mentioned by our representative, the first student to speak at the event,” the statement reads. “The administration is fully supportive and listening to us, and indeed some deans have gone above and beyond our expectations with their support of our
suffering community.”

NYU’s response to diversity criticism has received mixed reviews from students, with some feeling like the university is simply reacting to the climate at campuses across the country as opposed to taking legitimate action.

Gallatin senior Madeline Dolgin, who is Jewish, attended the forum to see her friends from the Muslim community speak — a relationship which is part of the reason she’s so invested in these issues. She said she believes the university can never be doing enough to ensure greater inclusiveness of students of color.

“I think that creating more spaces for these types of experiences particularly around faith and race at this time and making them mandatory is necessary for creating a more inclusive community, but also in upholding the standards of this university,” Dolgin said.

The Black and Brown Coalition has been encouraging students to add to a list of demands for the university, which once finalized will be presented to the administration on Dec. 1.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 30 print edition. Additional reporting by Christine Wang. Email Alex Bazeley at [email protected].