Off-Third: NYU takes ‘the city is our campus’ literally, offers off-campus tours to visitors

As university buildings take over the city, leadership ambassadors are taking over the city’s tourism industry.


Kevin Wu

(Kevin Wu for WSN)

Naisha Roy, Deputy Opinion Editor

Off-Third is WSN’s satire column.

After constant complaints that campus tours were smelly, boring and prone to assault-via-egging, the university has finally announced the perfect plan to make NYU more enticing for prospective students: by taking them everywhere but campus itself.

Current tours take visitors to all the places we know and love — the front steps of the Kimmel Center for University Life, the entrance (and only the entrance) to Bobst Library and the one nice cobblestone street in front of Weinstein Hall. However, tours for the class of 2027 will take visitors to all the places they know and love: the Empire State Building, the Guggenheim, Times Square, Brooklyn and, of course, Buffalo Exchange.

“This is all part of our “campus without walls” campaign,” said an admissions representative, sweating profusely. “While the legality of hordes of violet-clad young adults storming the Empire State every few days isn’t clear, we hope Eric Adams will understand our need to market.”

While some may call it “lying to people paying $80,000 for this college,” the university prefers to call it “creating a signature student experience.” In an orientation email sent to all new tour guides, the university encouraged them to promote Times Square and the Empire State as “everyday pit stops in student life” and emphasize the “complete absence” of rodents and harassment on the subway.

The university also fitted the guides with new uniforms to celebrate the announcement. Now, in addition to their NYU lanyards, NYU sweatshirts, NYU scarves, NYU beanies and NYU gloves, tour guides will also be required to dye their hair violet and purchase airport-style neon purple beacons to herd inquisitive parents and students across the city.

“I didn’t even know they made those in purple,” one of the guides commented, while frantically trying to shield a parent from seeing a student exiting Downstein with a half-burnt pizza and raw tofu.

Of course, taking students to all of these extravagant locations requires extensive resources, which is why the university is using part of its $5 billion endowment to fund exclusive Museum of Modern Art tours instead of increasing student financial aid. In fact, Andy Hamilton has also requested the Empire State staff to perpetually turn the lights violet, promising “free ragers” at his $30 million penthouse in return. NYU also purchased every single Big Bus vehicle in the state for the tours, promising that this would only present a “mild inconvenience” for traffic.

“Personally, I like the changes,” said another tour guide. “It was getting kind of difficult to romanticize the city once a man tried to bite one of the guests in Washington Square Park. Now I can just yell, ‘More free stuff!’ whenever something goes haywire.”

The guide also said the tours were definitely going to be a lot more lively, but he was a little concerned about the four hours of commuting the changes would add to the tour time. 

“It is also kind of weird that they’re making me pay for the Empire State tickets, but hey, at least I’ll get an overpriced I ♥ NY mug out of it,” she said. 

The university’s email also detailed some great ways the tour guides could use these new locations to answer pressing questions about campus. If asked about the decrepit Silver Center for Arts and Science or the flooding in the new Paulson Center, they can now distract guests by shoving them into the M&M factory instead.

“Everyone knows that the best part about going to NYU isn’t the education or the housing or the food or the college experience at all, really,” the tour guide said. “It’s the possibility of getting harassed or trampled on the subway as you attempt to visit every single tourist spot in the city in the span of one week. We’re just trying our best to give prospective students a taste of that.”

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]