Here’s What You Missed at NYU This Summer

Diamond Naga Siu and Bourrée Huang

NYU kept active for the three months of summer break even after the exodus of students from the city.  In addition to record-breaking heat and the Washington Square Park fountain turning back on, here are the top stories you may have missed this summer.

  1. Terrorism threats

Around mid-June, NYU received a sinister electronic message that forewarned an attack akin to that of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. NYU immediately notified local and federal authorities of the threats, and discovered that NYU was among many other higher education institutions to receive such a message.

  1. Anti-Divestment

After an overnight protest in Bobst and a meeting with President Andrew Hamilton, the NYU Board of Trustees announced its decision against fossil fuel divestment on June 16. NYU explained in an email that divestment from fossil fuels would be more symbolic than impactful, so NYU Divest and allies such as GSOC said that their fight is not yet over.  “NYU’s cowardly fortress-mentality today is a failure of both leadership and intellectual rigor that we cannot permit,” GSOC said in a statement. “GSOC stands in continued solidarity with NYU Divest and reiterates its demand that our university divest from fossil fuels.”

  1. Ban the Box progress

As part of its recent efforts to promote a more inclusive campus, NYU announced on Aug. 1 that it would strike the Common Application’s criminal history question, instead replacing it with one that asks more specifically about a history of violent crimes.  This decision follows a series of events led by the Incarceration to Education Coalition last year: a 33 hour Kimmel sit-in, an attempted meeting with Common App and a meeting with President Andrew Hamilton.

  1. Pharrell Williams thinks NYU’s got talent

Pharrell Williams, the Grammy winning singer with top hits “Happy” and “Get Lucky,” served as NYU’s artist-in-residence this past year.  He worked closely with Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU students, and a recent video of him listening to a song by Clive Davis alumni Maggie Rogers went viral.  The video of Williams’ reaction while listening to the song “Alaska” amassed over two million views, which launched Rogers’ musical career. “Wow,” Williams said after listening to her song, “I’ve never heard anything that sounds like that. That’s a drug for me.” People even made Williams’ shocked expression into a gif after the incident.

A version of this article appeared in the Sunday, August 28 print edition. Email Diamond Naga and Bourrée at [email protected]