Currently, a bunch of random people are in the dining hall of my college doing stupid things.
This is the easiest way for me to describe what’s going at NYU right now, where a group called “Take Back NYU” is attempting a… something.
I first was alerted to this last night, not by the group or any of its actions directly, but rather by someone putting as their facebook status- “fuck those dudes who are taking over kimmel.”
This prompted me to consult that tome of social change, the “Group Description” page on Facebook, to find out who these people are.
When I read their page, their demands seemed somewhat understandable.
-NYU claims to be a “private college in the public service”, as their motto, but that seems to breaking down quickly with its effects on the city around it in terms of gentrification.
-NYU does not disclose its finances, not even to its students, which considering things like “NYU Singapore” and “NYU Abu Dhabi” might make one wonder where their tuition money goes.
-Perhaps most importantly, NYU is raising their tuition in a year of serious recession, while simultaneously instituting pay freezes on their faculty–once again, makes you wonder where the money is going.
When I got into class this morning, incidentally in that very same Kimmel, I was interested enough by all this to suggest that we spend the first part of class talking about, a suggestion my teacher actually followed.
However, when I read the “new” list of demands, it contained what seemed like obviously spurious changes-
-Now, of all things, Independence in Gaza was lumped in with making NYU “transparent”. This seemed like an insane conflation of two things with nothing to do with each other.
Now, to disclose, I’ve talked on this blog before about how I feel about Israel and that whole situation. Anyone who wants to check it out can click on the “Israel” category at the end of this post. It’s a complicated issue. But one thing’s for certain in my mind: It has NOTHING the fuck to do with trying to make NYU transparent, unless you’re going along with the vague notion of “Israeli war profiteering” suggested by their list.
For me, this lack of focus and particular willingness to lump in an extremely heated issue with a rather matter-of-fact set of demands goes a long way to de-legitimizing whatever these people might have had.
-They also listed that they want NYU to send aid to Islamic University in Gaza and to give Palestinians scholarships.
One word. Why? NYU is not the fucking Israeli government, nor is it Hamas or whoever the fuck. Nor is it the American government. It’s just a fucking over-priced college and not one that’s trying to get into the business model of Amnesty International.
-Finally and stupidly, they want to make Bobst Library open to the public.
Now, it’s a sign of the retardedness of this group that they would lump THIS in with their new demands about Gaza, when it’s so clearly unnecessary.
NEWSFLASH- We pay for Bobst Library. It is a service that we pay for. Now, while it would make sense to allow ALUMNI (a category which I will soon fall into) to go to Bobst, something which they currently can only do with significant charges, there is something out there for the rest of everyone in New York–it’s called the NEW YORK FUCKING PUBLIC LIBRARY and as someone who used to work there I can tell you they have fucking everything! They’re better than Bobst if perhaps a little less spic-and-span. Just because NYU recieves public funding doesn’t mean we should let random people into our private college library.
When I talked to my teacher about all this, they told me that they thought the group had added these spurious demands just so they could drop them. Might I suggest something?
Listen, I was a Hilary supporter, but I’ll give credit where credit’s due.
When Obama was talking about passing the stimulus and how it became somewhat weakened due to his attempts at bipartisanship, he said something along the lines of “Well, I could have filled with more demands that I knew I’d be ready to drop, but I didn’t want to play that game.”
Ladie and Gentleman of “Take Back NYU”, take some heart from our president. He might change this country or he might fucking not. But at least he’s trying to cut out the bullshit and get passed the things that actually need to get passed. Maybe if you had shown some focus, you might have earned more laughs and less sneers for your Cafeteria-stan.