NYU is unlike any other university in the world. Located in the heart of New York City, it takes advantage of unique resources that other universities do not possess. NYU’s placement as part of the city prepares its students to survive in the world after graduating in Yankee Stadium.
While NYU is idealistic, it is by no means perfect, and it is commendable that the university works to improve its shortcomings while continuing to offer a world-renowned education. This is largely made possible by the excellent faculty — many who are recognized as authorities in their respective fields. However, the university should also hire more academics who are also minorities: ethnic, cultural, socio-economic, sexual and every other minority identity in between. In addition, NYU could vastly further its commitment to diversity and to environmental sustainability, which would make it an even stronger insitution, both to its students and within the global community. The issues that the university faces are apparent, which makes it inexcusable to ignore its problems. So while the administration’s continuing efforts are heartening, we simply wish the process would progress more efficiently.
Finally, NYU has one of the largest study abroad programs in the world, which we appreciate as an incredible college experience paired with our city of never-ending resources. Yet these opportunities should not come at the price of other people’s lives. NYU’s expansion must follow basic human rights and cannot propagate the same social issues that students work so hard to combat, such as livable wages, education and gentrification.
Unlike Columbia University, which shares our city environment, NYU has no official campus and blends into the surrounding neighborhood without alienating itself with gates and walls. Our integration provides access to a variety of metropolitan attractions — museums, plays, clubs and operas — that enrich both the students’ personal lives and the overall academic experience. Additionally, the lack of separation between the campus and world outside of academia allows students to make connections with a diverse assortment of people. We appreciate that the university encourages students to act independently and mature at a faster rate.
While cynicism and negativity may sometimes get the better of us, we are aware of the opportunities and advantages that come with being at NYU. The location, resources and people here create an atmosphere exemplary of what the college experience needs to be, and only by engaging with this atmosphere can students truly thrive. But our engagement as conscious, global citizens includes challenging the adminstration and its practices. We only do so to better our university and to ensure NYU upholds the values it professes to have.
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