New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

NYU Pledges Housing Refunds If Fall Goes Remote

An email was sent out about housing deposit refunds if in-person classes do not resume in the fall semester as well as other housing information.
Alexandra Chan
Palladium Hall is an upperclassmen dorm on 14th Street near Union Square and one of the many dorms Tom Ellet oversaw during his time as Senior Associate VP. (Staff Photo by Alexandra Chan)

As some universities prepare for the prospect of remote operation in the fall semester, the Office of Residential Life & Housing Services sent an email informing students that full refunds will be awarded if housing is not available for the fall semester due to COVID-19.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases warned that the United States needs to prepare adequately for a second wave of COVID-19 which might be prevalent during the Fall and Winter.

“If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well,” he told CNN. “If we don’t do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.”

Those planning to live on campus next semester received an email on Wednesday, April 29, asking them to list their preferences for on-campus accommodations, making it one of the first concrete steps toward the possibility of an in-person return to campus in the fall. 

The email — initially sent to students whose first preference for on-campus housing was Broome Street — also stated that if the fall semester were to operate remotely, NYU would be returning students’ housing deposits.

“Please note that the availability of student housing is subject to change in light of evolving events related to COVID-19, including potential government restrictions and housing decisions made by the University in its discretion,” the email read. “In the event that housing is not made available to you for these reasons, your reservation payment will be refunded to you.”

While the university is certainly facing unprecedented circumstances, housing preferences not being guaranteed is not exclusive to the fall 2020 semester. 

In an email sent to housing applicants on Monday, April 1, 2020, the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services said that the office would help students to the best of its ability based on space availability.

“Please note that nearly 6,800 students and groups receive selection times,” the email read. “As a reminder, every student may not be able to select a space during this process due to a lack of initial availability.” 

In an email sent to the NYU community on Monday, April 27, President Andrew Hamilton stated that the university is making preparations for both an in-person as well as a possible remote fall semester.

“NYU is committed to ensuring the education continuity of all students enrolled next fall, and will offer a flexible and robust array of options to students such that they can feel confident that the University will continue to deliver high-quality academic instruction, no matter the circumstances,” the email read.

However, students are growing increasingly anxious about the fall 2020 semester, with several students considering taking gap semesters or gap years.

Tisch sophomore Alyssa Hatwig, who is planning on living on-campus in the fall, said she would consider taking a year off if classes and housing are not in-person in the coming semester.

“Honestly if I can’t live on campus and the school is still remote I’m probably going to apply to take a year off of uni since I was planning to study abroad in the spring and it would mess things up,” Hatwig told WSN in a text. “It doesn’t feel like a good financial decision to pay so much to do online classes when I can do up to 8 credits at a local community college for so much less.”

Stern first-year student Izhan Hussain hopes that students will have the option of living on campus to access more educational opportunities even if classes are conducted remotely.

“I understand that classes might have to be online, but I hope that we get the option for a hybrid semester because I want to live in NYU housing and intern during fall semester,” he said.

Email Aarushi Sharma at [email protected]

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About the Contributors
Aarushi Sharma
Aarushi Sharma, Deputy News Editor
Aarushi is a sophomore studying Media, Culture and Communications and Politics. She is from Dubai and will find a way to work that into every conversation. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @aarushisharmas
Alexandra Chan
Alexandra Chan, Editor-at-Large
Alexandra Chan is a junior studying history, politics and East Asian studies. She has done her time in the basement dungeon state of mind and can't really seem to let go. Follow her @noelle.png on Instagram for inconsistent posting but aesthetically pleasing rows. She doesn't know what Twitter is.

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