Deep pockets: NYU student government to get an extra $1 million annually

In cooperation with the Division of Student Affairs, NYU’s Student Government Assembly will receive around $1 million annually on top of their current operating budget starting in the fall 2023 semester.


Susan Behrends Valenzuela

NYU’s student government revealed a funding bonus for next year at its latest meeting. (Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Cora Snow, Staff Writer

NYU’s student government will be $1 million richer starting next semester, due to a recently approved grant from the university. The annual fund will be separate from the Student Government Assembly’s regular budget, which works similarly to that of other student organizations, and will be used to fulfill different student needs on campus. 

The grant — tentatively titled the Initiative Fund — will be overseen by NYU’s Division of Student Affairs, which is in charge of resources and programming for students. Ron Hall, the chairperson of the student government, said on Thursday that he hopes to have the money allocated by the start of the 2023-24 academic year so that it can be used as soon as possible.

“This new funding is something that can transform how we do our advocacy work in SGA,” Hall said. “If there’s something that is student-centered that we think can be helpful to students, this allows us to sort of put money behind that.”

The SGA participates in annual universitywide budget discussions each spring, but does not currently have other ways to request funding.

“The creative vision behind the initiative is left to SGA,” Hall said. “It was a proposal for Student Affairs that we made after looking at our funding requests. If we want to add 12 printers across campus, we now have the funds for that.”

Moving forward, the hurdle facing the SGA is coming up with a framework of guidelines to allow easy access to and efficient mobilization of the incoming funds. A new program manager  will be hired by Student Affairs to help inform the student government about common needs using data collected from student requests.

“We’re really just charged with trying to organize and come up with a way, system or framework in which we can access this money,” said Jordan Hubbard, who leads the Global Student Council, which represents students at NYU’s Abu Dhabi and Shanghai campuses and its study away sites. “We want to make sure that we’re doing it in a more equitable, diverse and inclusive way.” 

Hall said that the new funding will give the student government the ability to be more productive. He also said that the fund could potentially be used to help improve access to abortion pills and menstrual hygiene products on campus, adding that the framework could help determine student demand and the project’s budget.

The SGA is hoping to use the time before the program is launched in the fall to take action on a few key issues as soon as the funding is received. It is still determining what these will be.

Also at the meeting, Yvonne Erazo — a recently hired NYU administrator serving as the director for student basic needs — introduced herself to students and spoke about her new role, which involves overseeing access to mental health and wellness services, stable housing and food security. Ezaro said that she aims to improve access to student resources by concentrating them in a single place.

Contact Cora Snow at [email protected].