Thursday, February 19, 2009

Change We Can Believe In Before We Get Jobs

As NYU alumn, we feel that sometimes our school is misunderstood. "Take Back NYU," the student group currently occupying NYU's Kimmel Student Center may seem laughable to you, or to any non-NYU affiliated person. However, we believe that this is largely because they speak a language of knee-jerk faux-liberal-college-speak that only they can understand. It is meant only for eachothers' ears, it exists mostly so they can reassure each other that they are right and that they're making changes against the "elite powers" of NYU's administrative body. We've set out to translate their demands in layman's terms, so everyone can get a better idea of what they're really asking for.

1. Amnesty for all parties involved.

Amnesty for all parties in any of the NYU dorms. RA oppression is a brutal tradition at New York University; it is hindering all of us from true liberty. Also, please return the bong that my RA confiscated last week.

2. Full compensation for all employees whose jobs were disrupted during the course of the occupation.

Please, help us assuage our white guilt.

3. Public release of NYU's annual budget and endowment.

So that we will have more specific things to gripe about in the future.

4. Allow student workers (including T.A.'s) to collectively bargain.

A couple years ago when the T.A.'s struck, Our recitations were cancelled. We got to take a few of our core requirements pass/fail. This was fun. We had no class on Friday. This was good, and John Sexton took it away from us.

5. A fair labor contract for all NYU employees at home and abroad.

The guy who works at Quiznos freaks me out when I'm stoned. Also, see no. 2.

6. A Socially Responsible Finance Committee that will immediately investigate war profiteers and the lifting of the Coke ban.

My friend from Oberlin told me that Coke is bad AND bad for you.

7. Annual scholarships be provided for thirteen Palestinian students.

To help stop the propagation of the "NYJew" nickname.

8. That the university donates all excess supplies and materials in an effort to rebuild the University of Gaza.

Recently we began reading the newspaper. It seems that this opinion about the Gaza strip is correct. We should give them things, because people like things. They need things. We aren't exactly sure where or what this "Gaza" is, but we are confident that this is the right thing to do. Also, see nos. 2, 5 and 7.

9. Tuition stabilization for all students, beginning with the class of 2012. Tuition rates for each successive year will not exceed the rate of inflation. The university shall meet 100% of government-calculated student financial need.

Our parents are irritated with us because we could have gone to a good state school for a reasonable price, but we demanded that we could go here, to NYU, because Bob Dylan used to hang out around here and some guy offered me pot in Washington Square Park on the campus tour. Now they're being cheap with pocket money.

10. That student groups have priority when reserving space in the buildings owned or leased by New York University, including, and especially, the Kimmel Center.

Seriously, this is already the case, we just wanted to throw this in so we'll have something that we can say we definitely won on.

11. That the general public have access to Bobst Library.

Our library has no homeless people sleeping in it. All the anonymous gay sex that takes place in the bathrooms is limited to the priviledged. We want all New Yorkers to have anonymous sex in our bathrooms, not just those wealthy enough to use Craigslist in the bourgeois safety in Lower-Level 2. Also, see nos. 2, 5 and 8.

Hopefully you have a better grasp on what our school is really about, and maybe you now think that not everyone who goes there is a complete asshole.


Mike Riley and Will Schwartz, NYU class of '08.