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

Opinion: NYU needs to take student government resolutions more seriously

NYU must better support resolutions passed by the university’s Student Government Assembly to appropriately address the needs and concerns of its students.
Mikaylah Du
(Mikaylah Du for WSN)

A few weeks ago, the Student Government Assembly passed a resolution requesting that NYU reopen the Grand Staircase in the Kimmel Center for University Life, which had been closed since October. Just this past Tuesday, the university fulfilled the student government’s request — but only partially

The university announced this partial reopening in a memo to the NYU community on March 26. However, rather than reopen the staircase as per the SGA’s resolution, the university chose to isolate the far-right side of the steps with dividers and traffic cones. The administration plans to install additional handrails across the middle of the staircase to address safety concerns such as the “steepness” of the steps and other accessibility and security issues. Although NYU is technically responding to the student government’s proposal, it is doing so with significant caveats — pointing to an even larger concern surrounding the university’s disregard for SGA resolutions as a whole.

In February, the university postponed a student government resolution aimed at protecting pro-Palestinian activity on campus, despite overwhelming student support and the endorsement of numerous student organizations at NYU. The administration had claimed the resolution was “not ready” and did not “have wide student body support.” Not only was the resolution signed on to by many student-run organizations, but backed by a “nearly unanimous” vote of the SGA, which comprises student representatives for many diverse constituencies.

The university’s move to stall the pro-Palestinian activity proposal not only undermines the work of the SGA and the opinions of the student body, but also signals a troubling disconnect between NYU’s decisions and the values of its community. In addition to not taking this resolution or the Kimmel stairs resolution seriously enough, NYU has also failed to address an SGA resolution pushing for the university to cut its ties with Starbucks. 

Past SGA successes have also genuinely helped students, like its establishment of the Swipe it Forward program to help address food insecurity and its role in getting the university to offer more accessible emergency contraception on campus. NYU’s administration clearly has the ability to heed student voices and the SGA’s concerns in a timely manner, it just can’t pick and choose when it does so. 

The SGA serves as a crucial bridge between students and the administration, advocating for students’ needs and concerns through resolutions and direct action. NYU must recognize the importance of these resolutions and fully engage with them in order to foster a campus environment that reflects the values and aspirations of its student body.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Jack Sloan at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Mikaylah Du
Mikaylah Du, Illustration Editor
Mikaylah Du is a first-year studying Media, Culture, and Communication. She's a fine art nerd and one of the few people that actually likes writing essays. Follow her art account on Instagram @mikaylahdoodles to see her post once in a blue moon.

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