Editor’s Note: Introducing WSN’s next Editor-in-Chief

Top stories this week: NYU med school defends disgraced biologist; criticism of Campus Safety.

Alex Tey, Editor-in-Chief

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Editor's Note

April 30, 2022
an illustration of a black pen laid horizontally
Editor’s Note is a weekly newsletter from WSN’s Editor-in-Chief that brings you the week’s top stories — and the stories behind the stories.
Hi everyone!

As we’re nearing the end of the academic year, we’re also close to wrapping up another semester of the Washington Square News. Next week will be our last week of regular publication.

You’ll still hear from us afterward (the news doesn’t take a vacation), but we won’t be publishing every day, and next week’s Editor’s Note will be the last of the semester. It’ll also be my last time writing this newsletter! My term as editor-in-chief is almost up, and we recently announced my successor, Arnav Binaykia.

I’ll introduce Arnav later down in this newsletter. First, though, the week’s top stories.
This week's top picks.
A portrait of David Sabatini wearing a blue sweater and button down overlaid onto the NYU Langone Health building. In the background, people hold signs outside of the Langone building. The Langone sign is visible in the background.
Cancer biologist David Sabatini was accused of sexual misconduct at MIT.
NYU med school defends disgraced biologist
NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine is considering hiring David Sabatini, who was previously fired from or forced to leave three other institutions following allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • The latest: Administrators disputed the validity of the accusations against Sabatini in a Zoom forum on Thursday where attendees’ screens were watermarked with their own email addresses, seemingly to discourage the sharing of images from the event. “They came out swinging against various victims,” a Grossman Ph.D. student said.
  • Public outcry: Hundreds protested outside NYU Langone Medical Center on Wednesday, and a former MIT employee told WSN what they had witnessed of Sabatini.
  • Previously: NYU president Andrew Hamilton “strongly advised” the med school against hiring Sabatini.
Criticism of Campus Safety dept. leadership
In a guest essay for WSN, an anonymous Campus Safety officer described low morale and a hostile work environment that they attribute to “negligent, arrogant and completely dismissive” management.
NYU Law divided by Israel-Palestine debate
The NYU Law chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine condemned the targeting of individuals sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, but one part of an SJP letter was widely criticized as being antisemitic.
The facade of a limestone brick building with a gold plaque on it, which reads “New York University / Institute of Fine Arts / The James B. Duke House.”
The James B. Duke House of NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts is located at 1 E. 78th St. Administrators had previously planned to close the building from April 28 to May 3.
More campus news
A planned six-day closure of the main building of NYU’s Institute for Fine Arts was canceled following student outcry. Administrators had intended to temporarily close the building, which houses its library, to host a corporate event rumored to have been the Met Gala afterparty.

Following a mass shooting in Brooklyn earlier this month, Mayor Eric Adams is considering installing metal detectors in subway stations. Students aren’t convinced by his plans.

A teach-in hosted by two NYU Law student organizations condemned the law school’s Policing Project and criticized diversity-focused attempts at police reform.
Caitlin Hsu, a WSN editor, and Will Wood sitting on brown couches in between a fern and a Fender Stratocaster.
Musician and artist Will Wood, interviewed by Caitlin Hsu.
Arts and culture
WSN’s Caitlin Hsu spoke with avant-pop musician Will Wood about authenticity and mental illness. Read the article or watch the video.

Our Arts desk reviews the films of this year’s New Directors/New Films festival at Lincoln Center. Check out their takes on “Fire of Love,” Shorts Program I, Shorts Program II, “Full Time,” “Los Conductos” and “The African Desperate.”

If you weren’t able to go to the Violet Gala and Ball last weekend, here’s what you missed.

Class registration season is well under way, but if you’re looking for some reassurance — or tips for next time around — check out our guide.
People sitting on rocks by the East River with the midtown Manhattan skyline in the background.
Shot on Fujifilm C200 film by Kevin Wu.
Opinions and perspectives
Kevin Wu’s photo essay juxtaposes film and digital to explore street photography itself.

Derek Kamakanaaloha Soong reflects on the Hawaiian tradition of celebrating the first day of May with leis.

While the Supreme Court seems likely to strike it down, affirmative action remains the best tool for improving campus diversity, Matthew Franco writes.
The next WSN editor-in-chief
Portrait of Arnav Binaykia.
Arnav Binaykia, the next editor-in-chief of the Washington Square News.
Hiring WSN’s editor-in-chief is the responsibility of the students and alumni on the paper’s Managing Board. The Board consists of the current and outgoing editor-in-chiefs, the current and outgoing business managers, another editorial staff member, another business staff member and four WSN alumni.

Here’s how the selection process goes: Staffers interested in applying for the position submit a written application to WSN’s Managing Board, answering questions about themselves, how they view the paper, and what they’d like to do differently. Qualified candidates are interviewed by the Board, which then deliberates to select the next editor.

This time around, it was Arnav who impressed the Board and was selected for the position. Quoting from our press release:
The Board selected Binaykia after he outlined his plans to set and meet ambitious editorial goals and collaborate more closely with the paper’s business staff.

“Arnav came to the Board with a clear view of the paper’s immediate and long-term needs, and smart plans for doing great journalism while strengthening the paper as it enters its 50th year,” said Jane C. Timm, chairman of the Managing Board of the Washington Square News, senior reporter at NBC News and former WSN reporter.

“For 50 years, WSN has been an exemplar of the impact student journalism can have, by providing invaluable local reporting, training generations of extraordinary journalists and holding a multi-billion-dollar institution accountable,” Binaykia said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue this legacy, cement our future as a digital publication and better serve our community of readers.”
As I said in the press release, Arnav’s driven approach and breadth of journalistic skills are exactly what WSN needs. There’s no one better to continue pushing WSN forward, following up and expanding on the work we’ve been doing. You’ll hear from him soon enough — he’s going to be an excellent editor-in-chief.

A couple related announcements you may have missed:
  • We’ve hired Russell Berman of The Atlantic, himself a former WSN editor-in-chief, as the paper’s adviser. (The role is what it sounds like — a professional resource without any editorial power; WSN is always student-run.)
  • With WSN’s current business manager Yejin Chang graduating this spring, the Board has selected Catherine Chen to step into the position. She’ll be Arnav’s counterpart on the financial and advertising side of the paper.
If you’re interested in joining us next semester, please fill out this interest form. You can contact Arnav at [email protected] and the Board at [email protected].

Thanks for reading Editor’s Note! I’ll see you next week for the final Editor’s Note of the semester.

—the editor
Alex Tey's signature in tall, narrow, looping cursive script.

Alex Tey
[email protected]

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