Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Asha Ramachandran

Asha Ramachandran, Deputy Managing Editor

Asha Ramachandran is a junior studying journalism and Social and Cultural Analysis. They were born and raised in New England (but please don't ask about sports teams!). When Asha isn't obsessing over their two cats, they're probably either reading about obscure politics, tweeting about obscure politics, or cooking mediocre renditions of TikTok recipes. Email them at [email protected] or find them on Instagram @asha.rm.

All content by Asha Ramachandran
Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks at a podium during a press conference. She stands in front of an American flag and a royal blue background. She is wearing a black blazer with a pale blue collared shirt.

Opinion: Struggling New Yorkers need Good Cause Eviction legislation

The state eviction moratorium expired in February, leaving thousands of New Yorkers — Black renters in particular — vulnerable to homelessness. A proposed Good Cause Eviction bill would limit rent hikes and reduce evictions.
March 7, 2022

As New York rent prices increase to their highest levels in decades, Gov. Kathy Hochul has left tenants out to dry. The eviction moratorium that allowed hundreds of thousands of...

A line-art illustration of a hand holding a Polaroid of a long-haired figure. One bubble contains the words “i love you too,” and another contains “i love you… …goodbye”.

Five stages of grief

A poem about profound loss and healing.
March 4, 2022

NYU needs to cut ties with Michael Steinhardt and rename the school that bears his name.

Opinion: NYU should sever all ties with Michael Steinhardt 

The board of trustees must change the name of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development given Steinhardt’s proven record as a looter and sexual predator.
December 10, 2021

Michael Steinhardt, billionaire, hedge fund manager and the namesake of the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, was forced to surrender $70 million...

Eric Adams, the Democratic mayor-elect in New York City, has a history of supporting inhumane tactics against incarcerated people. This background has cast doubt on the prospect of current mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to close Rikers Island. (Images via Wikimedia Commons, Staff Illustration by Manasa Gudavalli)

Opinion: Eric Adams’ pro-prison record is dangerous for NYC

Democratic mayor-elect Eric Adams has a troubling record with the prison-industrial complex. As conditions worsen for people at Rikers Island, Adams’ history of standing against the rights of incarcerated people makes meaningful reforms unlikely.
November 3, 2021

With the polls closed for the New York City mayoral election, Mayor-elect and former New York City Police Department captain Eric Adams will take office on Jan. 1. Meanwhile, on...

A woman holds a sign demanding the closure of the Rikers Island jail. Activists are criticizing the rising death toll and inhumane living conditions, and New York City has pledged to close Rikers Island in 2027. (Photo by Sam Clegg)

Opinion: Close Rikers now

Amid an alarming rise in suicides, neglect and unlivable conditions, it is incumbent upon Mayor Bill de Blasio to shut down Rikers Island jail complex and stop wasting taxpayer money on pointless reforms.
September 30, 2021

After touring Rikers Island on Monday, Sept. 27, Mayor Bill de Blasio noted the city’s progress in improving the jail. However, he failed to mention the deadly overcrowding,...

NYU continues construction on 181 Mercer Street in SoHo gentrifying the area. Mayor DeBlasio’s plan for affordable housing in the area does not serve the public interest of the surrounding area. (Staff Photo by Alexandra Chan)

Opinion: De Blasio’s rezoning plan is gentrification in the making

Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged to increase access to affordable housing for SoHo, NoHo and Chinatown residents with a controversial upzoning plan. The plan, however, will likely instead increase gentrification in NYU’s backyard and reduce net affordable housing. The City Planning Commision should reject it outright.
September 1, 2021

Last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office introduced a rezoning plan targeting much of SoHo, NoHo and parts of Chinatown. The city has emphasized the plan’s potential to create...

The National Grid is constructing a fracked gas-line that runs through many marginalized communities in Brooklyn. This unsustainable energy method presents a real danger to the communities in which this main runs through. (Staff Photo by Alexandra Chan)

Opinion: Brooklyn’s fracked gas pipeline endangers vulnerable communities

Despite the associated health and environmental risks, the National Grid plans to build a fracked gas pipeline that runs through Brooklyn, which will hit marginalized communities the hardest. It is about time that we halt this pipeline and transition towards green energy.
April 26, 2021

A 7-mile natural gas pipeline is under construction in northern Brooklyn. The multinational utility company National Grid wants to build the pipeline to pump natural gas from Pennsylvania...

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office released the second part of his reform plan for the NYPD last Friday. While the plan promises to create a city “that never participate[s] in, or tolerate[s] any further inequality or justice,” it only offers abstractions and empty promises. (Photo by Marva Shi)

OPINION: De Blasio’s police reform is hollow and insufficient

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new police reform plan is full of abstract ideals and does not take the concrete, radical action necessary to transform the current reality of a violent NYPD.
April 15, 2021

After a summer swept by protests for racial justice and demonstrations demanding the New York Police Department be defunded and held accountable for its violent racism, Mayor Bill...

The NYPD’s war against racial justice protesters

The NYPD’s war against racial justice protesters

According to recently leaked documents, the New York City Police Department’s anti-terror unit trained officers to disregard the constitutional rights of demonstrators during last summer’s protests for racial justice. This unit must be disbanded and officers involved held accountable for these abuses.
April 12, 2021

Beaten with batons, assaulted with pepper spray, shoved to the ground and unlawfully arrested — these are only a few examples of the force inflicted by the New York Police Department...

The urgency of supporting the #StrikeOnNYU

The urgency of supporting the #StrikeOnNYU

NYU’s graduate student union will vote on strike authorization until this Thursday. A strike would be a courageous bid for justice and fair conditions on campus, and deserves full solidarity from the NYU community.
April 5, 2021

After nine months of constant stonewalling from the university administration, NYU’s Graduate Student Organizing Committee is holding a strike authorization vote. They’re demanding...

Disabled subway riders deserve better

Disabled subway riders deserve better

Only about a quarter of New York City subway stations are accessible to disabled residents. Despite this, the MTA spends taxpayer dollars fighting accessibility lawsuits instead of paying for more accessible stations.
March 29, 2021

Only about 25% of New York City’s subway stations are accessible for disabled people, whether that's through wheelchairs, ramps or elevator access. Of those accessible stations...

De Blasios police reform is hollow and insufficient

De Blasio’s police reform is hollow and insufficient

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new police reform plan is full of abstract ideals and does not take the concrete, radical action necessary to transform the current reality of a violent NYPD.
March 16, 2021

After a summer swept by protests for racial justice and demonstrations demanding the New York Police Department be defunded and held accountable for its violent racism, Mayor Bill...

NYU Is Neglecting Its Struggling Graduate Students

NYU Is Neglecting Its Struggling Graduate Students

NYU’s graduate student union and its fight for a fair contract have been met with complete disregard. It’s time for the administration to step up and meet the demands of its graduate student workforce for negotiations, or else risk a collective strike.
March 12, 2021

More than 1,200 graduate students who belong to the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) have signed a petition demanding to resume negotiations for a fair contract. After...

Police Can’t Be Trusted With Public Health

Police Can’t Be Trusted With Public Health

The NYPD has been entrusted with public health and safety during the pandemic but their racist, violent and reckless track record only puts New Yorkers in more danger.
September 25, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented public health crisis that is only getting worse in some parts of the country. Some state and local governments have mobilized...

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Are Not Enough

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Are Not Enough

In light of anti-racist uprisings across the country, the NYU administration has recently stressed its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This does little to tackle institutional racism in any meaningful way.
September 14, 2020

Diversity, equity and inclusion have long been represented in NYU’s policies when it comes to addressing racism at an institutional level. These ideas, however, do not do nearly...

NYU’s Inadequate Quarantine Meals Exacerbated Food Insecurity

NYU’s Inadequate Quarantine Meals Exacerbated Food Insecurity

NYU’s failure to deliver sufficient food to quarantined students has become a social media trend in the last few weeks. But amidst all the jokes and viral posts, the struggles of low-income and food insecure students are being neglected and trivialized.
September 4, 2020

NYU’s meal delivery system for students undergoing the state-imposed quarantine was nothing short of a disaster. There were students surviving off of one meal a day, students...

The Misleading Nature of the NYU Administration’s Letter

The Misleading Nature of the NYU Administration’s Letter

In an email to the NYU community, the administration attempted to justify the university’s failure to reimburse tuition and financially accommodate students despite its sizable endowment. NYU is not being transparent about its financial assets nor its ability to meet the needs of its student body.
May 7, 2020

Last week, NYU President Andrew Hamilton, Executive Vice President Martin Dorph and Provost Katherine Fleming sent an email to the NYU community, providing several updates and...

NYC Public Schools Are Failing English Language Learners

NYC Public Schools Are Failing English Language Learners

As the New York City public school system has transitioned completely to remote learning, they have abandoned struggling English language learning students and immigrant families who lack digital literacy.
April 24, 2020

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, New York City public schools have transitioned to remote learning for the duration of the school year. For many students who are immigrants...

Survivors of Abuse Are Not Safe in Quarantine

Survivors of Abuse Are Not Safe in Quarantine

As New York has issued stay-at-home orders, it has simultaneously endangered survivors of domestic violence, trapping them at home with no means of escape. The government needs to take urgent action to protect survivors, not subject them to more trauma.
April 10, 2020

Content warning: this article contains mentions of domestic violence. The coronavirus pandemic and government-imposed lockdowns have made surviving increasingly difficult and...

The Urgency of Housing Justice During the Pandemic

The Urgency of Housing Justice During the Pandemic

New York has done little to address the grave concerns of renters and homeowners as COVID-19 ravages the state. There is an urgent need for the government to protect New Yorkers by instituting immediate rent, mortgage and utility payment suspension.
March 27, 2020

As New York has become the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic — accounting for 5% of global cases — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been grossly overselling his own efforts...

The Exploitation of Prisoners During Crisis

The Exploitation of Prisoners During Crisis

As the coronavirus spreads across the state, New York is shifting the responsibility of combating the outbreak onto incarcerated people and is paying them around 60 cents an hour to do it.
March 13, 2020

New York State is in the middle of a grave public health crisis, with the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. The way that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s...

Stand Against Hindu Fascism

Stand Against Hindu Fascism

March 9, 2020

My dad is the odd one out in his family. While the rest of the family are devout, fundamentalist Hindus who support Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party,...

New York Is No “Sanctuary City”

New York Is No “Sanctuary City”

Recent events involving ICE in New York City show the flaw in the city’s sanctuary city policies, and how it allows overreach from the federal government.
March 2, 2020

Last month, Erick Díaz-Cruz was shot in the face by an on-duty Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Brooklyn, New York, outside his own home. The 26 year old was trying...

De Blasio’s Privatization of NYCHA

De Blasio’s Privatization of NYCHA

Mayor de Blasio is planning to put one-third of New York’s public housing in the hands of private landlords. Privatization will only further harm residents, who have been struggling against NYCHA’s neglect and mismanagement for the last decade.
February 24, 2020

On Jan. 31st, the coldest day of the year to date, 10,000 residents of the New York City Public Housing Authority were left to freeze without heat or hot water as temperatures...

The Fallacy of the Free Press

The Fallacy of the Free Press

Mega-corporations have monopolized media in the U.S., silencing local, independent, dissenting journalists in favor of news coverage that prioritizes profits over substance and integrity.
February 7, 2020

A grand total of six mega-corporations control 90% of the media. News Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS and Comcast collectively own a vast majority of television and radio...

Staff Rants: Super Bowl

Staff Rants: Super Bowl

The Super Bowl — whether you care about the game or not — draws parties, commercials and more. Hear our staff’s take on the subject.
February 6, 2020

On Representation Mandie Montes, Under the Arch Senior Editor I didn’t watch the Super Bowl this year because I don’t live with my superhero, sports fan dad anymore since...

Staff Rants and Raves: Back to School

Staff Rants and Raves: Back to School

The first week of courses always fills people with mixed emotions. Here are our staff’s takes on the subject.
January 30, 2020

Rants On Masks Alexandra Chan, Deputy Photo Editor Growing up in post-SARS Hong Kong, wearing masks is very normal to me. It blows my mind that there is an American (or...

Trump’s Executive Order Censors Palestinian Voices

Trump’s Executive Order Censors Palestinian Voices

President Trump’s executive order claiming to target anti-Semitism on college campuses erases the diversity of Jewish people and equates Jewish identity with Zionism. It will suppress pro-Palestine students at every university in the US, including NYU.
January 27, 2020

On Dec. 11, President Trump signed into law “The Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism,” which claims to combat the rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses by revoking...

Immigrants Don’t Need to Earn Human Decency

Immigrants Don’t Need to Earn Human Decency

Immigrants should not have to prove themselves worthy of being in this country.
November 25, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority indicated on Nov. 12 that the body is leaning toward shutting down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA, an...

The NYPD’s Subway Occupation Must End

The NYPD’s Subway Occupation Must End

After several instances of police abuse in New York City subway stations, an awareness of the NYPD’s campaign against those most in need is growing — this violent force must be confronted.
November 11, 2019

A young black man, Adrian Napier, was sitting alone on the subway at the Franklin Avenue station in Brooklyn on Oct. 25. A gang of police officers assembled outside of the train,...

The False Promise of Closing Rikers Island

The False Promise of Closing Rikers Island

The city’s so-called proposal to close the jail and build four new ones only guarantees the creation of the newer jails. Rikers’ closure, set for 2026, is not guaranteed to happen.
October 27, 2019

The New York City Council overwhelmingly voted earlier this month to close the notorious Rikers Island jail complex. The $8 billion resolution will replace Rikers by building,...

NYU’s Collusion with Amazon Deforesters

NYU’s Collusion with Amazon Deforesters

The Amazon rainforest has been burning for months and a member of NYU’s Board of Trustees is partially to blame.
October 3, 2019

The Amazon rainforest is still on fire. Last week, demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of protesters took place in New York City to mark the annual U.N. Climate Action Summit,...