Off-Third: 181 Mercer construction is high priority, not adjuncts

NYU’s refusal to pay adjunct professors comes from a place of frugality, not malice.


NYU has no money left for adjunct professors because it’s given all of their resources to 181 Mercer. (Photo by Manasa Gudavalli for WSN, Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Benjamin Meppen, Contributing Writer

Off-Third is WSN’s satire column.

Chaos has risen at NYU: posters demanding that NYU pays adjunct professors are littered and crumpled up in all corners of the school, from above the paper towel dispenser in the Bobst bathrooms to inside Rubin’s elevators. The vibrant yet ineffective violet-colored posters have sparked confusion amongst NYU’s student body. Some ask “what exactly are ad-junks?” and, “I try not to concern myself with my professor’s junk, no matter my grade in the class.” All of these questions and more prompt us to ask the question, “why isn’t NYU paying their adjunct professors?”

NYU’s Office of the Bursar came out with a statement last week explaining in great detail that NYU is not paying adjunct professors for any additional work done outside their class meeting times to save money for the new building at 181 Mercer Street.

For those who have been reading through their spam folders recently, they know the new 181 Mercer building will allegedly open in the spring of 2023 and will house dorms, a gym, a new dining hall, a sex dungeon, a pilates studio, baseball field, and, of course, a dance studio. They explained in their statement that in order to finish the new construction project on time they need to cut back on “unnecessary expenditures” like fair wages for adjunct professors. 

While adjunct professors sit on their iPads, mandating their students to purchase the book they published with NYU Press, NYU has refused to budge when it comes to opening their wallets to New York City’s finest not-really-part-time teachers. However, they have offered adjuncts other amenities to help soften the blow of not receiving that sweet, sweet moolah. 

NYU has been allowing select adjunct professors to sleep in the Commuter Den in Lipton, as long as they present a valid Violet Go pass, their birth certificate and a written promise to not join the adjunct union. If that is not enough, they even are providing all adjuncts with free tickets to the Metropolitan Museum of Art — though only valid Tuesday to Thursday 6-8 a.m. — and a free pedicab ride around Spanish Harlem on Sundays from 9-11 p.m.

“The decision to continue not to pay adjunct professors was an easy one,” an NYU Eats worker smoking outside of Weinstein, who claimed to be an NYU spokesperson, said. “We feel as though they don’t deserve it, and — to be honest — the new gym at 181 looks sick, there’s like 100 treadmills in there, shit’s epic.”

At the end of the day, adjunct professors will continue to do God’s work without receiving an additional dime — they better enjoy the new pasta bar at 181 Mercer. Thanks, NYU.

Off-Third is WSN’s satire column. 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 Benjamin Meppen at [email protected].