With students flocking back to campus this week, the residence halls have been abuzz with friends catching up. But while you’ve been away, big things have happened for NYU too: from the building of an expensive apartment for our new president to the university’s decision to stand by a scandalous pharmaceutical tycoon.
Right as finals were ending, word got out that NYU has been completely renovating the penthouse atop 37 Washington Square West — you may’ve noticed this construction on the building next door to Hayden — to be the home of new university President Andrew Hamilton. Renovations to the 4,200 square-foot duplex is expected to have cost the university at least $1.1 million by its completion. Several students expressed shock and outrage at the project’s lavishness.
“I don’t understand why he needs a penthouse apartment in the first place,” said CAS freshman Delaney Martin, “and I definitely am baffled as to why he needs to be spending so much money renovating it.”
In the world of social media, another attack has been waged against the university. Joshua Jackson, a student at Brown University looking to apply to Tisch School of the Arts, sought financial compensation for the $65 application fee. He was via email by Dean of Graduate Admissions Dan Sandford that NYU could not cover his fee, and that he would likely have difficulty affording the tuition if he could not afford the $65. In response, Jackson posted screenshots of the conversation on Twitter, causing much virtual backlash against the university.
Also over the break, the adjunct faculty of Tandon School of Engineering voted to join the Adjuncts Come Together, a union that the rest of the university faculty has been part of for years. Now that they are part of the union, these approximate 240 faculty members should soon be enjoying the same rights, protections and benefits as adjunct faculty at the Washington Square Campus.
From most students’ perspectives, there is support for this faculty decision to unionize. Tandon freshman Daniel Jiang voiced some concern that unions typically lead to a declining quality of teachers, but he stood by the school’s choice.
“I don’t think it would be a problem here,” Jiang said. “Most of the teachers at Tandon would have joined when it wasn’t unionized, so for right now they’re making the right decision.”
Receiving even more unwanted attention, NYU suffered some backlash when they announced that they will honor the endowed professorship of Martin Shkreli, a pharmaceutical CEO who was recently arrested for a series of scandals tied to security fraud. While other universities have chosen not to accept his money — not wanting to be tied to his tarnished name — NYU has decided to keep Shkreli’s hefty donation, claiming that it will be put towards the care of patients with kidney disease.
Email Raven Quesenberry at [email protected]