SGA Offers Support After NYU Shuts Residence Halls

Following University President Andrew Hamilton’s announcement on Monday, March 16, which closed residence halls after Sunday, March 22 and extended remote instruction for the remainder of the semester, the Student Government Assembly issued a statement offering resources for students.

The Colloquium Room at the Kimmel Center is where the Student Government Assembly meets. The SGA offered a statement in response to the current situation facing the NYU community. (Photo by Jorene He)

As NYU President Andrew Hamilton’s email on Monday, March 16 — which announced the shutdown of residence halls after Sunday, March 22 and the continuation of remote instruction for the rest of the semester — left students rushing to procure last-minute housing and travel, the Student Government Assembly published a statement providing resources and support for NYU community members. 

At the forefront of the statement is a Google Form for students to voice concerns and raise questions following Hamilton’s announcement. Responses to the form will be addressed in coming meetings between the SGA and NYU administration, according to the statement.  

“We, the Student Government Assembly Executive Committee, would like to extend our thoughts and well wishes to those affected by the spread of the coronavirus,” the statement reads. 

SGA’s statement included another form for students facing housing insecurity. Created by two Tisch juniors, the form was inspired by the “I Lost My Gig” website, which was created to assist with financial needs brought on by the cancelation of the South By Southwest Film Festival. 

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Cameron Franklin, one of the creators of the form, expressed their frustration with NYU’s treatment of its students.

All I want to say is the administration’s announcement was extremely disappointing, as it puts a considerable portion of the student body in a range of compromising situations, “ Franklin told WSN in an email. “It’s become a common sentiment among students that the administration is not reliable; to account for their shortcomings, the form functions as a community support network.”

For students requesting emergency aid, the statement included a link to an aid application, which was mentioned in Hamilton’s email. 

The statement addressed the somewhat unexpected nature of Hamilton’s email, mentioning that no SGA members had prior knowledge of the closure of residence halls. 

“While the Executive Committee would have wished to have gotten ahead of President Hamilton’s email on March 16, we were not given the opportunity to do so,” the statement reads.

Gallatin senior and SGA President Jakiyah Bradley — who helped draft the statement — told WSN that this sentence was included to show the student body the SGA is standing in solidarity with them. 

“We mostly say this to let the student body know we are processing things at the same time as them and will need some time to full resources that are helpful to us all,” Bradley told WSN in an email.

The response included links to the Wellness Exchange and Student Health Center. The SGA went on to condemn the racist and xenophobic sentiments that have accompanied coronavirus discourse in the past. 

“We encourage you to be mindful of the impact your actions and words can have on affected students/people,” the statement reads. 

Bradley is still unsure of how the SGA will function during the remote instruction period for the remainder of the semester but reiterated that the organization prioritizes the mental and physical well-being of its members. 

“We will alert our members when a final decision is made,” Bradley said. “What I do know for sure is that SGA won’t die down this semester; we will continue advocating student needs.”

Email Lisa Cochran at [email protected]

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