Off-Third: Sternies are better than us, actually

Leave the finance bros alone. Everyone knows you’re just jealous of them.


Kevin Wu

Stern dean Robert Whitelaw was right when he said that Sternies are just better than everyone else. (Illustration by Kevin Wu; Tori Morales for WSN)

Naisha Roy, Staff Writer

Off-Third is WSN’s satire column.

Last week, the undergraduate dean at Stern School of Business answered questions during a town hall with dozens of students to discuss anti-Stern bias, Stern stereotypes and their relationship with the rest of this university.

“We know we’re better than the rest of the university, so there is tension there,” said undergraduate dean Robert Whitelaw.

Now, this statement may have ruffled your feathers a bit. But even as a CAS student, I have to say: I fully agree with Whitelaw. I’m so glad he finally had the guts to say what I’m sure we were all thinking. Stern is better than us, and we need to cut them some slack.

Sternies are more diplomatic than any of us could ever be. It takes a special level of pragmatism to both question why people think they’re entitled, and in the same breath, brag about their superior resources and funding. This is the kind of charisma and doublethink that thrives in the financial world.

I’ve always admired their ability to ask questions about what may seem redundant to the rest of us, like “What do you think is the cause of the negative Stern stigma?” This is truly a dilemma that has no foreseeable answer — once, of course, you ignore the air of pretentiousness emanating from the Henry Kaufman Management Center, or the fact that Sternies can take Commerce and Culture, a dumbed-down version of Writing the Essay, to fulfill their graduation requirements. 

Once you ignore all the obvious responses, any attempt to challenge the Stern stigma is really a matter of bravery. I applaud them for standing up to the negative mental health effects of being called something as scathing as “Stern snake.”

Plus, let’s admit it — Whitelaw is right. Stern students do get way more resources than the rest of us, and we really need to just suck it up. Sure, it would be nice to go to the U.S. Open, or get free metal water bottles instead of the plastic CAS abominations, or have faculty that get paid fairly. But that’s no fault of Stern’s. It would be nice to have a Matto Espresso in the crusty Silver Center instead of the already unnecessarily extravagant Stern building. But the rest of us lowlifes can settle for the watery soup that is the Peet’s Coffee in the Kimmel Center for University Life. 

If anything, Stern deserves more resources, not less. To compensate for all the anxiety caused by the reckless bullying of their peers, I propose we recreate the Washington Square Fountain in the middle of Gould Plaza so they always have something to gaze upon as they finish up homework for their “Principles of Brainstorming” class. Or perhaps we can finally fix those revolving doors in front of Tisch Hall and remove the caution tape.

I know it’s unfair, but Stern is just on another level. Instead of making fun of them, we should all focus on trying to be like them. Learning the principles of suitwearing and turning a five-minute introduction into a 50-minute conversation about the blockchain are enviable talents. If we measly peasants focused less on Stern memes and more on NFTs, networking and trying to get our peers involved in shady MLMs, maybe we could have a fraction of the social prowess they do.

Despite all of these obvious virtues, Stern still gets bullied on a daily basis. The students cited a popular NYU meme page as their most reputable critics and Whitelaw insinuated that if he had made fun of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study the way people make fun of Stern, there would be immense backlash. I totally get where he’s coming from. Calling someone who hopes to work for corporations a “corporate sellout” is honestly reprehensible, and the Stern slander is unparalleled. It’s not like the same page has made fun of CAS. Or Tisch. Or Gallatin

We need to stop being jealous students and causing tensions between Stern and the rest of NYU. Sure, like snakes, they may not have a backbone enough to take a joke — but that’s no excuse for our language. As the unequivocally elected representative for all the non-finance bros at NYU, I concede. Stern is better than us.

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].