This week marks the start of the spring semester and the relatively new Spring Welcome Week, which includes a variety of activities beginning on Jan. 23 and runs through the following four weeks. While Fall Welcome Week is an established NYU tradition, Spring Welcome Week was introduced in the spring of 2016 and includes over 200 events, which mirrors its fall counterpart. The plethora of performances, workshops and lectures provides a platform for students to mingle with peers and integrate themselves into the widespread, diverse culture of NYU. However, the overabundance and extravagance of these activities raises the question of value when considering their exorbitant costs.
The upcoming welcome week boasts an impressive list of marquee events, ranging from “So You Think NYU Can Dance” with judge Karla Garcia from the cast of “Hamilton” on Broadway to a screening of HBO’s “Girls” followed by a Q&A with cast members. In addition to the larger events, NYU provides small-scale attractions like workshops in “Networking 101” and workouts including “Yoga with Brian.” Although the numerous activities create a warm welcome and an exciting number of unique experiences, the quantity seems too great in light of increasing tuition and fee costs, rising to $71,000 this year.
The purpose of the lengthy welcome week is to “kick start the new semester,” but do students need over 200 events, spanning four weeks, to do so? When considering colleges in the surrounding area of New York, such as Columbia University and The New School, none have spring welcomes as grandiose as NYU’s, but rather smaller events targeted for new and transfer students. By contrast, NYU’s Spring Welcome Week is for all students, instead of being directly targeted to transfers or waitlisted freshmen. While this fact is exciting for most, students who are returning for the spring have already experienced an extremely similar series of events during Fall Welcome Week and are less likely to appreciate the activities that have been repeated.
In light of event repetition and small percentages of new and transfer students present during the spring semester, the excessive quantity of spring welcome activities seems unjustifiable. NYU’s campus is untraditional and more difficult to navigate, making the prospect of a second welcome during the spring engaging for some. Nevertheless, the extravagance and scale of the events is unnecessary. The high-profile marquee events, restaurant discounts and workshops of the spring welcome series are appealing, but when also considering the tremendous costs students are required to pay for them, they appear less necessary and more excessive.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Jan. 23 print edition. Email Emma Rudd at [email protected]