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.

Love,

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


35 comments:

  1. Thank you for that.

    Love,
    The class of '97

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  2. Mostly true. I don't remember any RA oppression. But seriously, amnesty? I think the SWAT photos will make the cover of the NY Post.

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  3. Nice, dudes. Much love from a 2005 Alumni.

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  4. hahahaha!

    Rilleyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! Word up son!

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  5. I like that they read their demands off a Macbook.

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  6. Great job! I wonder how they reconcile their support of "all supplies to Gaza" with their presumed commitment to only eating food grown on hippie communes located within 10 miles.

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  7. FYI, this piece is in very poor taste and only makes little people like yourselves feel better. it's the language of knee-jerk faux fascist-wannabe young college repubs speak that only you can understand and think is 'funny' and 'cute', but means nothing. Actually, thanks for proving with this piece that not all students as NYU are particularly smart. trust-fund babies, is my guess. peace/

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  8. Hey, Nicole, Shut the fuck up. You are an idiot supporting idiots in an idiotic cause that will go nowhere. I'm an avid liberal and all that jazz and I still think TBNYU are fucking morons. They never had the authority to represent me as an NYU student, and they never will, because the day I grant them that right is the day I am fucking dead. Then they may feel free to represent my rotting corpse. Fucking zapatista wannabe fucks.

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  9. Yes! Now this shit is funny.

    Serious question: are those University of Gaza demands for real? In all fairness they were not listed on the demands list on takebacknyu.com.

    Nicole -- instead of calmly offering a rigorous defense of your views, you've decided to make callous, unfounded assumptions about the authors. Great job! How you found enough inductive evidence in this piece to support your claim that the authors are "trust fund babies" is particularly impressive. Speaking of which, how do you find the time to squeeze in hours upon hours of protest while at the same time working that part time job I'm sure you work in order to support yourself and help your family pay your tuition? You are truly an inspiration.

    One last observation Nicole, I was unaware that the only two political choices to be made were shrill radical leftist and knee-jerk fascist. Thanks for clearing that up!

    Really though, it is a shame. Not all of the demands listed on takebakenyu.com are that unreasonable (though the true psychological motives are questionable--one can only imagine the orgasmic joy these protesters would feel going line by line through NYU's budget, locating corporation after multi-national corporation with possible ties to prison labor, thus prompting Sit In pt. II). But the methods being used to attack these problems make them all appear like a bunch of sheltered suburbanites looking for a thrill no more remarkable or interesting than a keg stand. They haven't demonstrated in the least why they should be taken any more seriously than a bunch of prepubescents just getting used to the idea of being able to stay home alone without a babysitter.

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  10. Why is this a blog and not a handout or something else that will reach more people if you feel particularly adamant about it?

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  11. FAKE BACK NYU shirts now available at Coles Sports Center
    Campus Cash accepted

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  12. NYU administrators offered them all tasty vegan lunches (they haven't had a square meal all day).

    This confused the rebels so deeply, that the only response they could scramble to muster, was to whine that their friends should be allowed to bring them food instead. Of course, this was denied, so they go hungry.

    Just like the New School Mehvolution, TBNYU! will be foiled by minor discomfort.

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  13. 1) I don't know what this is all about, as I went to Oberlin and not NYU, but it is pretty funny.

    2) Some of the things this group TBNYU is advocating for make sense, but I'm sure they are very smug pricks. TBNYU, please note: being pricks makes people dismiss even your legitimate points. Believe me, I know - I went to Oberlin.

    3) Wills, I don't know who you've been talking to, but I love Coca Cola. Especially when I'm drinking it out of the hands of an underpaid Guatemalan child who just spent his childhood putting those blue plastic wafers inside bottle caps.

    4) TBNYU: If you really want to make a difference, try a shit-in instead of a sit-in. Shit on all the floors and throw it at the walls. And go on hunger strikes. It worked for the IRA!

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  14. ah, please don't make bobst public. i don't understand what function that would serve. i don't know a single college library that is public. the public has a public library.

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  15. Bobst won't be made public, that will never happen in a million years. I don't see why everyone is getting so pissed at these people, they just want to see some things changed. We all know NYU is expensive, and I don't think there is a single student who would rather not know where their money is going unless they are some insanely rich prick. Yes, their demands are harsh, but that is how negotiations start. You demand more than you will ever receive and you work your way down to a compromise. It may be inconvenient not to drink Coke products, but PEOPLE are being treated unethically. I am a person, and if I heard that every time someone in (England for the sake of example) bought a Coke, it helped to promote unfair treatment of a fellow American, then I would be pretty damn proud of a college in England standing up for people they have never even met. Even if you think the Gaza demands are a little harsh, then just see those as a way to potentially help someone our age who had their home potentially destroyed or members of their family killed. These TBNYU'ers are just trying to make the world a little bit more fair, honest, and livable for everyone. Don't hate on those just doing what little they can to improve the world.

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  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  17. You're right, Svelte, because everyone who ever writes on a blog meticulously confirms the accuracy of his or her grammar! Do you even go to NYU, or are you just protesting because it's a Thursday and you're bored?

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  18. In terms of the issue of Bobst: I’m going to spell it out from a typical NYU student’s point of view. It is hard enough finding space in our 12-floor, suicide-inducing library. It’s always a struggle to find rooms and tables, and if you’re trying to get books from course reserves, you can expect a long waiting list and extremely limited time with your textbook. We don’t want more people in our library—if anything, we want them to get out. It’s one of the few places left where we can study (we don’t have a campus, remember?) and just because YOU (0.14%!) think that people should have public access, doesn’t mean WE (99.86%) will. You can’t argue for stabilized tuition and then open up our library to the public, because our tuition is what keeps the library running at its current rate, so bringing MORE people into our buildings will only increase the cost of maintaining our library. People in New York City pay taxes; let them use what their taxes pay for (yes, the New York Public Library, emphasis on the PUBLIC!) We pay tuition, so let us peacefully use what we are paying for. I think it’s a fair statement.

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  19. Yes, yes, oh frickin' yes. Thank you for that.

    And to Justin: Yes, the demands about Gaza were for real, check out items 8,9,10 and their solidarity statement. This is the beauty of earmarks.

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  20. great work gentlemen. someone had to point out the real deal behind all this protest bull. NYU kids can be so frightfully inane and pigheaded.

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  21. good job boys!

    when i hold my nyu alumni protest in upstein to get my loans paid and a pony, i hope you guys will clarify my demands for the general public.

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  22. "the guy", you're absolutely right. It may be a tad radical, but it's not being done with bad intentions. I do find this site amusing, but some of the comments are a little...close-minded. It's much easier to defend Coke products, undisclosed budget practices, etc., than to learn about them, and figure out which causes you're for or against. I'm obviously not in Kimmel right now, for various reasons, mainly that I don't know enough about what's going on to risk the consequences. But I (and presumably all of you) have been thinking a great deal about my school, my money, and where to invest my time and energy over the past couple of days. Even in this small way, they have succeeded in getting the public's attention. (the press hasn't hurt either)

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  23. I'm a student at Northwestern University, and I can tell you from an outsider's perspective that A) This post was still hilarious and B) While the occupation has made me think a little bit about what my school is doing with the obscene amount of money I'm paying them, it's mostly just made me think that getting into NYU must be easier than I thought if those kids got in. I thought about where my money was going before; if this has done anything, it's just set back everything they've been demanding. The school isn't going to take these concerns seriously now that the people making them have shown that they themselves really shouldn't be taken seriously. They may be well-meaning, and that's a big maybe, but they've just come across as comical to the general public, and they've done more harm than good.

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  24. Oh, and as a member of the general public, public access to a private library is ridiculous anyway. I think MAYBE members of the public should be able to go in and get a book if they have a specific idea of what they want, but they should just be able to read it IN THE LIBRARY.

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  25. Thank you for this. We don't need these few crazies making us look bad to the world. Speaking as an NYU student, I don't agree with what TBNYU did, and I feel that they are just a bunch of self righteous brats clamoring for attention. If you want to check out some other peoples' views on this absurdity go to: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142965570432

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  26. Will - you guys made it into the Gothamist, just in case you didn't already know. Good shit man. These kids are a real class act.

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  27. This is very snide and snotty.

    But since you're not able to make your points intelligently and diplomatically I will join you in being snide to YOU.

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  28. i also will join her in joining you in being snide to you

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  29. Hey Uighly, I will join them in being snide to us.

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