Last semester, the WSN Editorial Board responded to the issues on campus we felt needed addressing. While some of these problems have been recognized by the administration or are being resolved by students, others, we feel, still need attention. With the New Year having just begun, we feel that NYU could benefit from some self reflection and it is time to bring these issues back to the forefront. Without further ado, here are our New Year’s Resolutions for NYU in 2018.
Student representative needed on the Board of Trustees
Last year, the NYU Student Labor Action Movement demanded student representation on the Board of Trustees. In response, President Andrew Hamilton insisted that having a student on the board would be a conflict of interest. SLAM was quick to call out the hypocrisy in Hamilton’s claim, and held a protest to emphasize that multiple members of the board had existing conflicts of interest, proving that the administration’s counterpoint was illogical. NYU still has not met SLAM’s demands, and is refusing to allow students to partake in the decision-making process of the board. Hamilton must recognize that students can be unbiased representatives on the Board of Trustees.
Meet sustainability demands from NYU Divest
NYU Divest occupied an elevator last semester to pose three demands to NYU; that NYU divest direct holdings in fossil fuel companies, hold a full board meeting open to the public that reconsiders university divestment and commit new funds to carbon-free screens. The first demand, as it turns out, was previously met, but Divest was disappointed at the lack of transparency concerning the issue as NYU neither released a statement when it dropped its holdings nor did it provide a reason as to why the holdings were divested. This year, we would like NYU to follow through with the other two demands and strive to be more transparent.
Faculty needs to be more sympathetic to Dreamers
Last October, a racist message was found in the bathroom at Bobst Library reading “Hasta Luego Dreamer.” In response, the NYU Dream Team along with 14 other clubs gathered to show their support for Dreamers in their “Anti-Hate Rally: Dreamers are here to stay.” The backlash to the rally from some members NYU’s administration was disappointing. The president of NYU’s Asian Pacific American Coalition with the support of other administrators and faculty stated his view that the students were “making a big deal out of nothing.” In 2018, we hope to see a shift in this attitude. We believe that NYU needs to be unified in its support of undocumented students. This support must not only come from the students, but must be voiced by the faculty as well.
Quicker and more thorough response to Bias Response Lines calls
A transgender student reported NYU Psychology Professor Edgar Coons to the Bias Response Line for alleged transphobia.The Bias Response Line did not respond immediately to the accusing student, nor did they request follow-ups on the case. August Enzer, the Steinhart junior who filed the report said he felt frustrated by the slow response he received. The Bias Response Line must make an increased effort to reduce such delays on such sensitive issues. In order to fully understand an alleged offense, the NYU administrative staff should also conduct their own investigation with the inclusion of students involved in Professor Coon’s case.
Improve sanitation in dining halls
Last semester, Lipton Dining Hall was under fire for its poor health inspection results, which were largely due to the presence of rat droppings within the dining hall. While Aramark, NYU’s food service provider, fired the former Lipton Hall manager who was deemed responsible for these health violations, the deeper concern is that this issue went undetected for so long, and was only revealed once an outside party was brought in for inspection. We wish to see the NYU administration hold comprehensive and frequent dining hall inspections in order to uphold and maintain high quality service.
We hope that in the coming year, the students and faculty of NYU can come together to find a solution to these problems facing the school. We think that by addressing issues, NYU will be a happier, healthier, more inclusive place to be in 2018.
Email the WSN Editorial Board at [email protected]. A version of this appeared in the Monday, January 22 print edition.