The Tandon School of Engineering may be seen as one of NYU’s greatest mysteries — at least to Washington Square students. Many studying on the Manhattan campus know very little about the facilities and day-to-day lives of those studying at Tandon.
The lack of communication between Tandon and the rest of NYU is evident among students like CAS freshman Sarah Eldridge, who said that she knows nothing about Tandon aside from the fact that it is an engineering school in Brooklyn.
“At the end of the day, I only really know about Tisch kids and Stern kids because that’s all anyone talks about,” Eldridge said. “I don’t know anything about students from the School of Professional Studies or Liberal Studies either.”
Additionally, there are several NYU memes that depict Tandon students as sad and overworked, while also joking about how far away they are from Manhattan. It’s a general consensus that overall, Tandon is simply different.
But many Tandon students, like freshman Diana Dang, don’t agree with these stereotypes.
“A lot of people seem to envision us as people who simply go to their classes and start our homework as soon as we receive the assignment, or that we’re all studying 24/7,” Dang said. “The reality is that there really is no difference. We are simply college students who happen to major in mainly engineering — there are other majors besides engineering at Tandon though. We study, procrastinate and venture into the city when we have the time to do so, just like any other student.”
Dang noted the differences between the two campuses, and said that facilities on the Manhattan campus are superior to Tandon’s due to the large number of students at the Manhattan campus, as well as the many years dedicated to developing these facilities compared to the relatively newer Tandon facilities.
“We only have one dining hall, and it offers food that paled in comparison to any of the dining halls in Manhattan,” Dang said. “Also, our library is located on two floors in the [Bern Dibner Library], whereas the Manhattan campus [has] Bobst. We have one gym in the basement of one of our academic buildings.”
As for the misconception that Tandon is far from the Washington Square campus, Dang said that people overlook the reality that NYU’s Brooklyn site is only a 20-minute subway ride away.
“Some Tandon students who take courses in Manhattan even walk from the Tandon campus to get to their classes,” Dang said.
Tandon sophomore Karan Ganta also thinks that there are misconceptions about the school — but there is one stereotype that he believes isn’t entirely false.
“Tandon students being sad and overwhelmed is probably true,” Ganta said. “In terms of other misconceptions, some fly as wildly as that we aren’t a school of NYU. Honestly, there’s a lot in it that’s probably different from being at any other NYU school, but I believe that being at Tandon makes more sense to me than any other school would’ve — not just because it holds my major.”
Of course, studying at Tandon has its perks. With its location in downtown Brooklyn, the students are just a 10-minute walk from an outside mall that’s filled with a variety of stores.Students also have two Targets nearby — a luxury Manhattan students can’t enjoy.
While many places are in walking distance of the Manhattan campus, Brooklyn offers a quieter environment, which is essential when students want to wind down after a week of classes. With a quieter campus comes a more united community.
“Tandon is very close-knit socially, at least more so than other schools,” Ganta said. “I feel I know many people from Tandon because we are centralized in Brooklyn, not mingling as much with other schools during our first year where most of us live in Brooklyn.”
“Notably, Tandon is the school with the most financial aid students and is supposedly the most diverse school as well from what I’ve heard from NYU statistics,” Ganta said.
While Tandon is located separately from the rest of NYU, the student life and community culture is similar, if not better in some ways. The facilities are not perfect; however, they are improving, and the atmosphere is calmer without the stress-inducing Manhattan bustle.
While you can read as much as you want about Tandon, Dang believes you’ll never truly know what it’s like until you actually step foot on the Brooklyn campus.
“Students from the Manhattan campus always seem to follow up with, ‘how is it?’ when you tell them you’re from Tandon,” Dang said. “While I could stand there and fully compare and contrast the differences between the two campuses, the only way to really unveil the mystery behind Tandon and its students is to come down and visit us.”