IYSSE Appeals Against their Club Status Rejection

Supporters of the club attended the IYSSE rally in front of the courtyard next to Bobst Library on Thursday.

The Student Activities Board was militant last fall as it rejected an application for club status from the International Youth and Students for Social Equality — a socialist group on campus with strong opinions against war and government.

In the months following SAB’s refusal to grant IYSSE their desired status during its biannual review of applications for new organizations after deciding it was too similar to other on-campus groups, the club continued to appeal to the university for the decision to be reviewed. In an open letter to SAB, IYSSE described the rejection as an attack on the democratic rights of students.

“The various reasons you have given to justify your rejection of our application for new club status are illegitimate,” IYSSE said in the letter addressed to SAB. “In fact, the ISO [International Socialist Organization] and the Socialist Equality Party, the parent organization of the IYSSE, are completely different tendencies with different histories and opposed positions on fundamental political questions. One could say that the differences between the ISO and the IYSSE are more significant than those that separate the Democratic and Republican parties.”

SAB Development Committee Vice Chair Julie Corbett defended SAB’s decision, saying that IYSSE did not meet each of SAB’s requirements for club status: being unique, providing effective outreach and being sustainable.  


“[Due to] the large amount of organizations applying and the financial and physical resources available for All-University clubs, the process is highly selective,” Corbett said. “Twelve percent of the applicants were approved and completed the New Club in Development program to become clubs this semester.”

CAS sophomore Samuel Kim participates in the Reserves Officers Training Corps and said he supports IYSSE. Though the club promotes an anti-war message, he believes the members of the club deserve to express their values.

“In terms of whether they ideologically deserve a space, it’s no question at all; of course they deserve a space. But then I feel like there are institutional barriers that are keeping them from having it, and that’s unfortunate,” Kim said.

Eric London, a writer for the World Socialist Web Site, said he was skeptical of SAB’s claims, as NYU administration and SAB were inconsistent in their communication with IYSSE.

“The administration and the SAB gave us different reasons for rejecting us each time we communicated with them,” London said. “They said they didn’t have any money, which is not true. This is a very wealthy and powerful university.”

Corbett said that though IYSSE was initially rejected, the group is eligible to reapply to be recognized as a club this semester.

“We encourage the IYSSE to use their freedom of speech and continue to express themselves how they wish about the decision,” Corbett said. “However, we will not go back on our decision. The IYSSE is free to apply for the NCD program for this semester, which will close on February 6. We will be reviewing this application, along with every other application that we receive, and consider it with the same reviewing process that we have been using for the past semester.”

Correction: A prior photo and caption of this article did not accurately represent the rally that occurred on Thursday.

Email Deanna Tran at [email protected]



  1. I would like to thank the Washington Square News for bringing attention to this issue to a larger audience. It is very important for the school to have clear and objective criteria in the club application process in order to accept new clubs, and encourage a lively political debate on campus.

    I believe the author mixed up the street corners for the day of the rally, which was held on W 4th and Washington Square East. The rally was well attended by NYU students. Here is a separate article from the World Socialist Web Site that includes a picture: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/02/03/rall-f03.html

  2. Um… Can I just say that the picture attached to this article is totally inappropriate and inaccurate. I was at the rally and there were at least 30 people there. It is really unprofessional to post this picture as accompaniment to the article–and disrespectful too, because you attach it as if to cast dispersions against the IYSSE as if they’re a joke or something. There were a lot of people that came to the rally that are invested in this issue and it is just plain ruuudee to have posted that false picture and not have replaced it by now, esp when previous commenter posted a link with a picture of the actual rally–where the were people. Like–don’t you think if they held a rally at least they themselves would be there??

  3. “A rally for the failed club was supposed to take place on West 4th St, but no one showed up”?

    Are these alternative facts?

  4. Hello,

    Thank you for writing this article and for speaking to us about our fight to establish a club on campus.

    I am dismayed, however, that the newspaper has refused to change the photo and caption. The IYSSE notified the WSN of their mistake hours after the article was posted. Both the author and the paper’s editor-in-chief, Diamond Naga Siu, have apologized for the error and promised to fix it, but still the quick change has not been made. The IYSSE also learned that the article’s author did not write the caption and it is not clear who did. Is the paper under pressure to keep the caption and photo posted?

    I recognize that you are a student newspaper doing your best with limited resources, but this simple change should not take 48 hours to fix.




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