Off-Third: NYU security asks for magic beans in lieu of Violet Go

The university’s new COVID-19 policy allows for Campus Safety officers to take some creative liberties when it comes to student identification.


Kevin Wu

(Kevin Wu for WSN)

Nikkala Kovacevic, Deputy Opinion Editor

Off-Third is WSN’s satire column.

Earlier this month, Vice President for Campus Health Carlo Ciotoli announced that students would no longer need to display a Violet Go pass in order to enter campus buildings. While many students believed this change was due to declining COVID-19 cases, WSN has learned that the change was actually made to offer Campus Safety officers the freedom and creativity to choose what students must show them to access NYU buildings. 

Now, at every campus building, students are being asked to show a different form of identification, depending on the security officer’s mood.

“Last week I was asking students to show me their old Chuck E. Cheese arcade cards. Today I’m having them show me a diary entry they wrote the last time they were truly in love,” said an officer at the Kimmel Center for University Life. “I appreciate being given the freedom to express myself in a way I wasn’t able to with Violet Go.”

The consensus among security officers seems to be that the removal of Violet Go has taken away some of the monotony of their days. Officers report that it has also reinstated some of the sanctity of student identification that had been lost in the time of the Daily Screener and Violet Go.

“Before, students would quickly wave their phones in the air,” a campus shuttle driver said. “Half of the time, I could tell they were just showing me their home screen — there was no personality to it. Now I give every student a different animal and make them perform an interpretive dance before they’re allowed to enter the bus.”

While campus staff have been enjoying the change of pace, some students have reported that the security officers’ requests have been time-consuming and pointless. 

“All I wanted to do was go back to my dorm and take a nap, but the security officer wouldn’t let me in because I wouldn’t give him a lock of my hair and three magic beans,” said a Gallatin first-year, who has been sleeping on the steps of Weinstein Hall for two weeks due to the change in policy. 

Other students have found the new system to be an improvement to Violet Go, though — and the NYU experience overall. Some say the mystery prompts have even helped them form better relationships with campus security, turning small talk into valuable exchanges.

“NYU wouldn’t feel like home if we didn’t have to loiter in large groups to slowly filter into buildings one by one,” a Liberal Studies sophomore said. “I got to my class on time once and it just didn’t feel right. I’d gladly give the officer a vial of my blood if it meant staying true to NYU culture.”

It doesn’t look like the new on-campus entry system will be going away anytime soon, so it might be time to delete Violet Go from your Apple Wallet and replace it with a list of your top 10 most embarrassing childhood memories.

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 Nikkala Kovacevic at [email protected]