NYU students took over Kimmel Marketplace this evening, with quite an interesting and perplexing set of demands. While some of them I support, others I am just completely confused by.

Information on the take over:
Take Back NYU
NY Times Article

No, back to their demands. They range from budget transparency to scholarships for 13 Palestinian students. This tactic is an interesting one–I don’t think NYU has seen such a protest in quite a few years.

I agree that the University budget should be made more available and that we should have a clearer picture of how our money is being spent. Budget cuts are being made across the university and I would like to know why. Is Abu Dhabi draining everything? Because I’d really like to know how successful that global program will be. Also, tuition stabilization-YES YES YES! I think every school should have this in place. It’s not fair when you enter college expecting to pay a certain amount and then have it increase at least 5% every single year. That’s insane and should be changed ASAP. Fair labor practices-yes, of course. And sure, NYU rental spaces should give preference to NYU students when they can but it is first come, first serve. So plan ahead everyone! You won’t be kicked out of your space if you reserve it far enough in advance.

My issues:

I’m not so sure how a Student elected board to have such power over the budget would fly. Nor do I even know who I would trust to sit on that board to be honest. Would it be all these “radical” students or the Stern kids? How many people here would actually care enough to vote? I feel like the voter turnout is not that great on student council elections or general surveys. Maybe I’m being somewhat pessimistic or old fashioned but this is a very radical idea-I think a compromise is in order.

Everything related to Gaza and Palestine seems to be coming out of left field. I honestly don’t follow this group, so maybe something happened that I am unaware of, but yes, Gaza has been devastated but if NYU hardly has money for it’s own students and programs that it boasts everyday, then how can we expect to have any money left over to help? I think a great idea would be to hold fundraisers, or get a club/group together to help out…maybe I’m being selfish because I’d like my tuition to stay right here-paying for great professors, housing, programs and facilities. I also was unaware that any of our money is somehow going towards genocide/war in Palestine-I’d like some more concrete information on that.

I’d also rather Bobst not be overrun by the public. Possibly setting up another way for more people (besides researchers, members of sister schools, etc) to have some sort of access could be in order but it’s a University library and I’m sure NY Public has a really great collection too.

NYU Local has the exclusive on this story. Two of it’s staffers are in TBNYU. There are some great comments that I would like to point out from readers there (I’m paraphrasing/adding my comments):
1. NYU is a private university. THAT changes a lot.
2. This seems really random aka it’s not at any meeting or strategic event. They just kinda took it over.
3. GAZA?!?!?!?!? Sooo confused…

One more thought: it would be really great if the NYU administration would at least inform students that this is going on right now. At least just a “Hey sorry for the inconvenience if you’re going to Kimmel tomorrow” or “This is the current situation.” Because I know in the morning a lot of people will find out when they get to campus or maybe days later…

Ok, that’s the end of my stream of thoughts. I just had to blog about this sooner rather than later.