Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Alex Tey

Alex Tey, Editor-at-Large

Alex Tey was previously WSN’s editor-in-chief. She is now at large. Watch out!

All content by Alex Tey
The facade of 90 Franklin Street is pictured.

A tax break is saving NYU $141 million this year. Here’s how.

Universities in New York are exempt from paying property taxes. Here’s how much NYU saves.
Nov 23, 2022

A framed sepia-tone photo of Joan Didion’s items in Stair Galleries is set against a black-and-white background of Didion book covers.

A day of magical thinking at the Joan Didion estate sale

The Nov. 16 auction of Joan Didion’s belongings marked a final, posthumous turning point in the legacy of the perennial idol of aspiring writers.
Nov 21, 2022

I’m certain that, given the opportunity, Joan Didion would have attended her own estate sale. The writer was the definitive chronicler of disorder and decline in 20th-century...

A part-time faculty member on strike. They hold up their fist and carry a sign that reads U.A.W. ON STRIKE. Behind them are other striking faculty members.

Strike upends classes at The New School

Part-time faculty at The New School commenced a strike on Wednesday after their union was unable to reach a new tentative contract with the university.
Nov 16, 2022

Part-time faculty at The New School — who together represent 87% of the university’s teaching staff — went on strike Wednesday morning after weeks of bargaining between their...

A black-and-white composite of several photos layered over one another depicting the philosopher Slavoj Zizek gesticulating wildly while speaking at a podium.

Slavoj Žižek is the public intellectual for an absurd world

The oratory style of Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek is as much performance as it is lecture.
Nov 6, 2022
The oratory style of Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek is as much performance as it is lecture.
A crowd of protesters standing in Washington Square Park at night. In the center front is a woman dressed in black with her eyes closed and hand raised.

Photo: Keeping Iranian culture alive at NYU amid protests

Oct 24, 2022

Attendees at a vigil for Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman who died during detainment for violating hijab regulations, in Washington Square Park on Sept. 29. (Alex Tey for WSN)

A group of protesters poses in front of the Washington Square Arch for a photo. In the middle is a banner that reads “ABORTION ACCESS DAY OF ACTION”.

Photo: At NYU, 70 walk out of class in support of reproductive rights

Oct 7, 2022

NYU students walk out of their classes to call on the university to provide better abortion coverage. (Alex Tey for WSN)

A female protester wearing a white shirt with text “WOMEN LIFE FREDDOM” cuts off her dark hair with a scissor.

Photo: At vigil for Mahsa Amini, Persian Society urges NYU to issue statement

Oct 3, 2022

NYU students and other New Yorkers attended a vigil for Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman who died during detainment for violating hijab regulations, in Washington Square Park on Sept. 29. (Alex Tey for WSN)

A lanternfly is seen in a door sill surrounded by other dead lanternflies.

Photo: Invasive lanternflies have arrived in Washington Square

Sep 15, 2022

NYU students have begun to spot lanternflies around campus. (Alex Tey for WSN)

The logo of WSNs 2022 While You Were Here graduation-themed special issue.

Editor’s Note: The end of the semester

Top stories on NYU’s med school, the Rubin intruder and abortion rights, plus some bird-related thoughts on spring transitions.
May 7, 2022

The Front Bottoms guitarist Brian Sella and vocalist Mat Uychich standing in front of trees.

Q&A: Time, place and live music with The Front Bottoms’ Brian Sella

The frontman of the New Jersey-born punk rock band spoke with WSN about the evolution of the band’s style and returning to perform in his home state.
May 5, 2022

“Everyone blooms in their own time,” promises the first track on The Front Bottoms’ 2020 album “In Sickness & In Flames.” With the pandemic putting live music on...

Portrait of Arnav Binaykia

Editor’s Note: Introducing WSN’s next Editor-in-Chief

Top stories this week: NYU med school defends disgraced biologist; criticism of Campus Safety.
Apr 30, 2022

Editor’s Note: Daily Screener, NYU Survival Guide

Editor’s Note: Daily Screener, NYU Survival Guide

WSN responds to COVID cases in its staff.
Apr 23, 2022

A man sits on his bed looking at the camera in front of his decorated walls next to an empty bed and drawer that is not being used.

Students upset by NYU response to roommate’s mental health crisis

Coral Tower residents sought a dialogue with their residence hall directors to communicate their concerns. They were left in the dark instead.
Apr 18, 2022

Content warning: This article contains descriptions of a mental health crisis. Five residents of a Coral Tower suite said the building directors refused to listen to their concerns...

White text reading Re: The Identity & Equity Issue on a red background above fine white curvy lines.

Editor’s Note: The ‘Re:’ special issue

“Re:,” the Identity & Equity Issue. Also: when and why we might go off the record with a source.
Apr 9, 2022

A masked student sits in an NYU common room area. She is surrounded by tables, chairs and a foosball table.

Editor’s Note: A memorial fund to support WSN staff

Introducing the Sarah Raybin Portlock Fund for WSN. Also, top stories on masks, Taylor Swift, Ukraine.
Apr 2, 2022

Two windows surrounded by brick. Through the windows, a college class is being taught.

Editor’s Note: What purpose do letters to the editor serve?

Top stories from accommodations to anti-abortion protesters to a K-indie band interview.
Mar 26, 2022

A map in gray and pale green with red squares and text indicating where and when NYU students were assaulted at five locations to the east of NYUs Washington Square campus.

Editor’s Note: The semester’s top stories (so far)

From campus safety to NYU’s response to conflicts overseas, a look at the first half of Spring 2022. Also, a look at how WSN staff get paid.
Mar 19, 2022

An image of Bobst Library looking down on the ground-floor atrium. On each level, metal screens run from the floor to the ceiling.

Editor’s Note: Spring break reads

Take some time to catch up with campus journalism. Featuring our Features section and explaining why we have one.
Mar 12, 2022

Students are seated on the lobby steps of the Kimmel Center for University Life, with one student waving a Ukrainian flag above the crowd.

Editor’s Note: This week’s top stories, and WSN vs. world news

How we cover global events. Also: Ukraine, campus safety, Maisie Peters.
Mar 5, 2022

Editor’s Note: Defining editorials; on-campus safety concerns

Editor’s Note: Defining editorials; on-campus safety concerns

What makes an editorial, and what doesn’t. Also: cuts to guard overtime, students assaulted, antisemitism.
Feb 26, 2022

Editor’s Note: Housing Guide, campus attacks; digital accessibility

Editor’s Note: Housing Guide, campus attacks; digital accessibility

Making our web content more accessible. Also: special issues about Valentine’s, dorms; news about attacks on campus and NYFW.
Feb 19, 2022

(Staff Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

The case for the <3 emoticon

Real love isn’t like the ❤️ emoji.
Feb 14, 2022

“Instead of saying ‘I love you,’ I’ll just use a heart,” a New York college student told The New York Times in late 2011, as emoji were beginning to take off in the United...

A study by NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing found a correlation between COVID-19, sleep insufficiency and poor mental health among nurses. (Photo by Tony Wu)

Editor’s Note: SGA updates, nurse burnout, our editing process

How we edit our articles. Also: an interview with Gracie Abrams and why NYU should bulk-order masks.
Feb 12, 2022

Starting Friday, Feb. 4, students will be allowed to eat in dining halls. (Photo by Jake Capriotti)

Editor’s Note: COVID rules eased; notes on a retraction

We retracted a story — here’s why. Also: NYU’s reopening, @nyuaffirmations, “Euphoria.”
Feb 5, 2022

Japanese American singer-songwriter Mitski released her latest album, “Laurel Hell,” on Friday. (Photo by Ebru Yildiz, Staff Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Review: On ‘Laurel Hell,’ Mitski blooms

Mitski's first album in four years pairs her unmatched lyricism with synth-heavy ’80s-inspired production. “Laurel Hell” is out Friday on all platforms.
Feb 4, 2022
Mitski's first album in four years pairs her unmatched lyricism with synth-heavy ’80s-inspired production. “Laurel Hell” is out Friday on all platforms.
An illustration of hand turning a page of a print edition of WSN. The image on the front page is a smaller version of that illustration, suggesting infinite recursion.

Letter from the editor: On transition

Transitions are perpetual, uncomfortable and inevitable. Meet WSN's new editor-in-chief.
Jan 24, 2022

Dear readers, This is a strange time to be attending college. Last spring was mostly online, last fall was mostly in person, and now we’re in this in-between zone where...

An NYU alumni newsletter suggests that NYU will resume in-person instruction for the spring 2022 semester. The university has yet to officially announce its plans. (Staff Photo and Illustration by Manasa Gudavalli)

NYU alumni newsletter hints at in-person spring 2022 semester

An NYU webpage dated Jan. 15, 2022, states that NYU “is preparing to resume in-person instruction at the start of the spring semester” at its New York City campus and abroad sites.
Jan 10, 2022

NYU appears prepared to start the spring semester with in-person classes, according to an alumni newsletter on the university’s website. The page, dated Jan. 15, 2022, seems...

NYUs COVID-19 positivity rates have increased sharply in recent weeks, but have remained lower than the rates in New York City as a whole.

NYU COVID positivity rate more than 20x pre-omicron average

The most recent data shows an 18.29% positivity rate in COVID tests at NYU.
Jan 10, 2022

COVID-19 positivity rates at NYU are up drastically, with 18.29% of tests conducted between Dec. 27 and Jan. 2 coming back positive. This latest data marks a 22-fold increase from...

Editors Note: A new newsletter from WSNs editor-in-chief

Editor’s Note: A new newsletter from WSN’s editor-in-chief

Editor’s Note is an upcoming weekly newsletter from WSN’s Editor-in-Chief that brings you the week’s top stories — and the stories behind the stories.
Dec 11, 2021

The holidays can be expensive. Here are some items that are worth the hefty price tag. (Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

Sometimes, expensive gifts… are better

If you’re at NYU, there’s a decent chance that you know some rich people who helped get you here. Here are expensive gifts that are actually worth the money that you can ask them for.
Dec 10, 2021

As winter break approaches, here’s a holiday gift guide to help you to take advantage of the rich people in your life. When they ask how to ease their conscience, you can answer...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Mitski strikes again with new single ‘Heat Lightning’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Mitski, Ed Sheeran, Joshua Bassett and more.
Dec 9, 2021

Yes, it’s true — this is the last edition of “Listen to this” for the fall semester. It’s been crazy and hectic, but time really has flown. Ahead of her forthcoming album,...

Caffe Reggio is located at 119 MacDougal St. (Staff Photo by Alex Tey)

Photo: The best hot chocolate spots around campus

Nov 23, 2021

Caffe Reggio is located at 119 MacDougal St. (Staff Photo by Alex Tey)

The annual Trans Day of 
Remembrance is a chance to memorialize those lost and to stand up for those still living. (Staff Illustration by Manasa Gudavalli)

Opinion: Do us justice with your trans remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance, commemorated on Nov. 20 each year, is a day for mourning and honoring trans people lost to a transphobic society. If you’re a trans ally, you need to carefully consider where your remembrance is coming from.
Nov 20, 2021

Content warning: This article discusses transphobia, murder and suicide. Founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in memory of Rita Hester, a Black trans woman murdered the previous...

On Nov. 9, the indie musician Mitski released her single “The Only Heartbreaker.” Its clear that shes returned from her hiatus with a new direction for her upcoming album Laurel Hell. (Photo illustration by Natalie Krowitz, photo by Ebru Yildiz courtesy of Pitch Perfect PR)

Mitski is back. God help us all.

The artist known for wreaking emotional devastation on her listeners is back with another single. What can we expect as we anticipate her “Laurel Hell” album next year?
Nov 11, 2021

On Tuesday, indie musician Mitski released the single “The Only Heartbreaker” and announced a February 2022 release date for the album “Laurel Hell.” Along with October’s...

NYU students, faculty and staff can now have their university ID cards reprinted to reflect chosen names and gender-affirming photos. (Staff Illustration by Manasa Gudavalli)

NYU offers free new ID cards to reflect chosen names, updated photos

The university’s Card Center will now help students, faculty and staff better reflect their gender identities with updated ID cards.
Oct 22, 2021

To better support the gender expression of students, faculty and staff, NYU community members can now have their university identification cards reprinted for free with a chosen...

181 Mercer St., NYU’s new building, is being built with special glass windows to reduce energy usage and help prevent bird collisions. Up to 230,000 birds die every year in New York City from these collisions. (Staff Photo and Illustration by Ryan Kawahara)

Bird-safe glass design at 181 Mercer saves wildlife and energy

Window collisions kill hundreds of thousands of birds every year in New York City. 181 Mercer’s architects are using specially designed glass with the intention of saving birds and energy.
Oct 18, 2021

Custom-designed glass on 181 Mercer Street, NYU's under-construction multi-use building, will help prevent bird-window collisions — a serious threat to native bird populations...

‘Forgotten NYU,’ Episode 2: ‘A New Type of Normal’

‘Forgotten NYU,’ Episode 2: ‘A New Type of Normal’

The second episode of a collaboration between WSN and WNYU 89.1 looks at the short-term effects and long-term lessons of 9/11.
Oct 13, 2021

This episode first aired on Sept. 22, 2021. One week at a time, one day at a time, eventually things will return to a new type of normal. Even now, it's still hard to process...

‘Forgotten NYU,’ Episode 1: Ground Zero

‘Forgotten NYU,’ Episode 1: Ground Zero

In the first episode of a collaboration between WSN and WNYU 89.1 FM, host Alex Tey revisits Sept. 11, 2001, 20 years later.
Oct 13, 2021

This episode first aired on Sept. 15, 2021. I just remember just the immense scale of the place. Like, all the steel beams were, you know, as— as high as multiple-story...

While NYCs reputation as a busy city is well-earned, theres still bits of wilderness to be found. Parks throughout the citys boroughs offer chances to explore nature. (Staff Photo by Alex Tey)

Ranked: NYC nature

If you’re tired of Washington Square, Union Square and Tompkins Square, these slices of nature offer an escape from city life without having to leave the city itself.
Oct 4, 2021

Are you tired of pretending that the trees in Washington Square Park are a forest? Want to return to the wilderness? Well, you’re more or less out of luck. New York City is pretty...

Succulents are known for their ability to handle extreme heat and low maintenance. While succulents are a popular choice of dorm room plant decoration, poor treatment can cause them to die. (Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

Read this before you kill your succulents

Just because they can tolerate droughts and extreme heat doesn’t mean they can tolerate your incompetence. Here’s how to not kill your latest dorm room decoration.
Aug 30, 2021

Succulents are beautiful plants. From the otherworldly Lapidaria margaretae to the humble aloe, they’re popular for their fascinating leaf patterns, stunning blossoms and charming...

Caffe Reggio, located on MacDougal Street, is the first café in the United States to serve a cappuccino. (Staff Photo by Alex Tey)

Photo: Food hot spots to know as a first-year

Aug 25, 2021

Caffe Reggio, located on MacDougal Street, is the first café in the United States to serve a cappuccino. (Staff Photo by Alex Tey)

NYUs policy of filling out the Daily Screener to get access to NYU buildings has flaws when it comes to post-vaccination symptoms. Post-vaccination symptoms can cause people to feel ill, unrelated to the COVID-19 symptoms, so there is hesitation in responding honestly to the Daily Screener in fear of an unnecessary quarantine. (Staff Photo by Ryan Walker)

You could be quarantined in your dorm for reporting your vaccine side effects

With no apparent university policy on post-vaccination symptoms, responding honestly to the Daily Screener could get you quarantined.
Apr 27, 2021

I don't socialize indoors, I wear one mask outside and two inside, and the riskiest thing I do is ride the subway about twice a week, an activity that is safer than eating inside...

The large windows in front of the Kimmel Center are a subtle hazard. NYU architecture is aggressively unfriendly to the birds in the city. (Staff Photo by Alex Tey)

Migrating birds imperiled by NYU buildings as spring approaches

Conservationists suggest steps that the university can take to keep birds from crashing into its windows.
Mar 29, 2021

As the spring migration season begins, birds traveling through New York City face the threat of reflective glass on NYU buildings. A Washington Square News review of crowdsourced...

NYU administration announced the cancellation of the 2021 spring break to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Many students are expressing their concerns about the lack of a substantial break given during the spring semester. (Staff Illustration by Manasa Gudavalli and Alexandra Chan)

As spring approaches, break doesn’t

Students believe replacing spring break with two long weekends is detrimental to their mental health. Administrators remain confident in their plans.
Mar 16, 2021

An Oct. 20 message from President Andrew Hamilton and Provost Katherine Fleming announced the cancellation of 2021’s spring break plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In...