Off-Third: CAS needs a name

CAS first-years have faced this dilemma for way too long. We need a name.


Aaliya Luthra

(Illustration by Aaliya Luthra)

Naisha Roy, Staff Writer

Off-Third is WSN’s satire column.

As a wide-eyed and eager first-year ready to take New York City by storm, you gather all of your belongings and move into your first dorm. You are excited to attend one of the best universities in the nation. On the sweaty elevator ride up to your room, you decide to network with the upperclassmen helping you move in. 

“What college are you in?” they ask, not knowing how else to make conversation.

“CAS!” you answer, excited to be in the school with the most diverse set of majors here at NYU.

“…You mean, C.A.S.?” they respond, clearly disgusted by your naivete and lack of experience. You stutter, trying to convince them it was an honest mistake, but it’s too late — you’ve outed yourself as an overzealous first-year who can’t even name their own college. All your excitement deflates. Your mind hauntingly replays this conversation for the rest of the day, and from now on, you only introduce yourself with your major. 

But you’re not alone: CAS first-years everywhere face this traumatizing dilemma, and to fix it, NYU needs to give the College of Arts and Sciences a name.

Whether CAS as an acronym should be pronounced letter by letter is a debate that shouldn’t even exist. We deserve to have a name that doesn’t sound like a mnemonic device. Most of the schools at NYU have a universally pronounceable name, be it Stern, Tisch or Steinhardt. And don’t even get me started on Gallatin, the Build-A-Bear Workshop of colleges that for some inexplicable reason, received the honor of being named after NYU’s founder, despite CAS being its founding school.  

Even most of the buildings at NYU have a name, albeit often for a rich white man who donated millions of dollars to the university a trillion years ago. Our biggest library, Bobst Library, is quite literally named after an antisemite

Where is the prejudiced legacy of CAS? Where is our problematic king to idolize? Personally, I think the Rudy W. Giuliani College of Arts and Sciences has a ring to it. Our logo could even be a bottle of cheap hair dye.

Not only is CAS a name destined to cause chaos, but it’s also hideously uncreative. Think about it —  would Adam Sandler have attended Tisch if it was named “College of Acting?” No. Would Robert Greifeld have gone to Stern if it was just called “School of Business,” or “SOB” for short? No. All the other names have a sense of flair and creativity to them, and yet CAS kids are stuck with what is essentially the equivalent of titling a class about writing essays, “Writing the Essay.”

CAS students already have very little to bond over. NYU treats us like the compost bin of schools, throwing away all the last-minute majors they couldn’t think to put anywhere else. Why else are the art history, chemistry and mathematics departments in the same school? 

I get it. Stern and Tisch are the favorite children, Stern gets the famed Matto Espresso added onto its already unnecessarily large building and Tisch had Elizabeth Olsen walk its halls. Gallatin gets to be the quirky but loved teenager going through its emo phase. Where does CAS fit in? 

NYU will never solve this identity crisis that haunts CAS students, but the first step in improving it would be giving us an actual name.

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 Naisha Roy at [email protected].