Gallatin Junior Aides Republican Underdog In State Assembly Race

It’s not every day that a junior in college is a top aide to a politician. Nor is it every day that a single mother and retired JAG officer runs on the Republican ticket for an assembly race in DeBlasio’s New York.

To the normal NYU student (normal being relative), Gallatin junior Chris Hofmann might seem like a square; a straight-laced dude who wears sweaters only a mother could love. He’s quick to give a firm handshake when we meet at the Starbucks on campus, and is much nicer than a Left-leaning Independent would like to admit of a Republican. He says he’s running for the New York Regional Chair of the College Republicans National Committee, that “it’s a big deal.” He wins the chair later in the month, around the time when I meet the candidate he represents, Maureen Koetz, at NYU’s own College Republicans chapter meeting.

Maureen Koetz, a veteran and native New Yorker, put herself in the running for New York’s State Assembly. If elected Koetz would represent portions of downtown Manhattan spanning from Little Italy to Battery Park City. The seat is currently held by longtime incumbent, Sheldon Silver.

The Sheldon Silver Saga is an article in itself. His longtime friend admitted to being involved in a $9 million charity scam. Silver signed off on a payout to an assemblyman’s sexual harassment victims. Silver also allowed his children to register using his Grand Street address, so they could vote in his district. Read more…

NYU Gallatin Course’s Collective ‘Mic Fiends’ Releases Mix Tape

What happens when you replace a test with a piece of poetry? A master class with a mixing session with Harry Belafonte? A final paper with a final collective performance at the Nuyorican?

You get the most Gallatin-y course ever.

Professor Bryonn Bain and his “Microphone Fiends: Hip Hop and Spoken Word” students, known collectively as the Mic Fiends, presented their works and released their mix tape (“The Heater”) as rappers, poets, musicians, and artists.

“I’ve heard of hip hop courses at NYU and this is the first one that involved performing and background history…A lot of people came in with backgrounds as rappers, others as seasoned poets, some people with nothing but an interest in hip hop, and everyone has cultivated their skills,” Nick Callas, the night’s emcee, said.

The night’s performances included a few hilarious raps, some slam poetry, and even an on-the-spot groove machine rendition of “A’int No Sunshine When She’s Gone.” Despite the variety, they were all steeped in social and political themes. Read more…

Only Four NYU Students Studied At NYU DC Last Semester, And That’s Not Even Unusual

It’s a sunny August afternoon in Washington D.C.— move-in day for residents of one of NYU’s newest study away facilities, located just a few blocks from the White House. At nine stories high, NYU D.C.’s fin-like facade stands out as the hippest, shiniest building on the block.

I’m the last of the NYU group to arrive. One of the faculty members lets me know that all four of us are here.

That’s right. All four.

That semester, only a third of NYU D.C.’s 120 residences were filled, and about 95 percent of them were filled by students studying at other universities. About two residential floors remained unfilled most of that semester — only to be used during special events, like when NYU students from New York or Abu Dhabi visited. Administrative floors operated at half capacity, entire offices remained empty, and some of the site’s high-tech classrooms remained locked all semester. NYU D.C.’s administrative faculty outnumbered all the NYU students there, two to one.

Read more…

Forget TED Talks! Learn While Getting A Buzz On With “Raising The Bar”

In the middle of the Fair Folks and a Goat cafe, there are a few things you can expect to see. A few coffee-sippers, a couple of people reading books, maybe a reading or an open mic. But last night at this coffee bar, and at 49 other cafes and bars all around the city, over 9,000 people gathered to see what essentially became a series of caffeine and alcohol-infused TED Talks.

It was the first ever “Raising the Bar” series, a group of talks facilitated by some of us youngins, presented by some 50 professors from NYU and Columbia University, and supported by Nobel winner Joseph Stiglitz.

For many presenters, this was a chance to present their passion projects and new research findings to a mass audience that wasn’t playing 2048 on their laptop or falling asleep in class.

With free hummus all around, I listed to Gary Marcus, New Yorker contributor and director of the Center for Language and Music at NYU, give a 45-minute crash course in all things brainy at Fair Folks, which quickly became a standing room only performance venue. Read more…

HBO’s Silicon Valley Just Makes It Happen

Bring together The Big Bang Theory‘s nerdy references (sans studio-grade laugh track), some of the 20-something stoner humor of Workaholics (without as many house parties), and the startup world drama of  The Social Network (minus Justin Timberlake), and what do you get? HBO’s new series Silicon Valley, starring a collage of your favorite comedy series sidekicks and produced by Mike Judge. 

The show follows a group of techies living in a start-up incubator. and while some of the housemates are developing apps like “Nip Alert” to get by, Richard Hendricks (played by Thomas Middleditch), a finicky ginger working at the fictional Google-esque cultish company Hooli, develops Pied Piper, a music software that detects copyright infringement. The only catch is that it’s 2014 and nobody cares if you steal music.

But in the process of building Pied Piper, he accidentally develops an algorhithm that compresses the size of files without affecting their quality. He and his best friend Bighead (played by Josh Brener, known fondly as the intern on IFC’s Maron), a.k.a. the guy who created “Nip Alert,” pitch Pied Piper to the brilliant, but absurd venture capitalist Peter Gregory (played by Christopher Evan Welch).  The folks at Hooli, however, also get a hold of Richard’s software. Gregory bids for a share of the company, while Hooli offers a few million to buy Richard out. Richard ultimately decides to take Peter Gregory’s offer and begins building his company from scratch. Read more…

50 Wonderful, Horrible, And Ridiculous Things Your NYU Tuition Has Funded

Whether you’re thinking about heading to NYU or you can’t wait to get the heck out of here, one thing’s for sure–tuition ain’t cheap. Here are some of the perks and pitfalls that show how your $60K a year gets put to use.

1. Face time with Alec Baldwin
2. Summer homes for NYU executives
3. A class taught by Jonathan Safran Foer or Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown or Richard Florida or Questlove or even John Sexton
4. The chance to get called a “little shit” by James Franco
5. Face time with Martin Scorsese
6. IRHC’s Flurry at Wollman Rink
7. The IRHC closet stuffed with candy and miscellaneous costumes
8. The IRHC Housie costume
9. Free meals during Hurricane Sandy
10. A free crash pad during Hurricane Sandy
11. A school-wide party during Hurricane Sandy (including a man on stilts and cardboard cutouts of Barack Obama)
12. At least one cheap wine and cheddar cheese event per weeknight
13. Semesterly NYU Albert meltdowns
14. NYU Classes/ATLAS/Blackboard
15. The Leslie eLab for entrepreneurs Read more…

NYU Professor/First Look Media Advisor Jay Rosen Hopeful For New Snowden-Themed Online Mag

Will a new news model save journalism from an advertorial demise? Well, First Look Media’s successful grand-publishing of The Intercept, an online magazine being led by journalist Glenn Greenwald,  might just provide some hope for the dying trade.

The Snowden-saturated publication had its own headlines lead the day’s news cycle, after the site published rare, unseen photos of the United States’ intelligence facilities and reported on the huge role cellular geolocation plays in determining drone strikes.

“The Intercept came first because there are more Snowden stories that need to get out,”  Jay Rosen, NYU Journalism professor and now advisor for FLM, told NYULocal. Read more…

NYU Study Abroad Guide 2014: Washington, D.C.

Because the first study abroad application deadline is February 15, we’re publishing new guides to NYU’s study abroad sites every day through next week. We’ll help you decide which language you’ll want to drunkenly learn. Check out all our Study Abroad coverage here.

This past semester, I was one of only four NYU students living and studying at NYU’s DC site. In between classes, my internship, the government shutdown, and my briefings at the White House, I like to think I learned something about myself—namely, that I’m a boss-lady who can handle much more than the standard NYU On-the-Square fare. The Capitol Hill lockdown and the Syria hearings made it a unique time to be in the city, but here’s why I think it was totally worth it.


Subjects taught:

  • History
  • Environmental Studies
  • Journalism
  • Metropolitan Studies
  • Politics
  • Public Policy

—While the foundation of Washington is embedded in law and government, NYU DC offers much more than just a stock list of politics courses. I’m a journalism and metropolitan studies double major, but my interests lie in writing about politics. If you’re somewhat interested in politics and NYU DC offers courses in your major, I would highly recommend attending. Read more…

POTUS Admits He “Fumbled” On Affordable Care Act; Delays Insurance Plan Cancellations

 It looks like Obama’s team at the White House is throwing a Hail Mary pass to keep the Affordable Care Act in motion–without Congress’ interception intervention.

The President announced that if your insurance plan was previously slated to get cancelled due its lack of compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s minimum coverage, you could keep your current plan for another year.

The announcement comes after President Obama’s previous speeches on the ACA, when he said like a broken record: “if you liked your insurance, you could keep it.”

Now he’s spinning:

“I completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of Americans,” Obama said during Thursday’s White House press conference.”Particularly after assurances from me that if you like your plan you can keep it. To those Americans, I hear you loud and clear…and today I’m offering an idea.” Read more…

Local Went There: MLK Anniversary At The Lincoln Memorial

Amid the preliminary speeches and cheers on the National Mall in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, I stumbled onto a hill near the Lincoln Memorial, armed only with a camera, a notebook, and a press pass.

Past the crowds of press, big-name speakers stood on the memorial’s steps—including three former United States Presidents—reviving parts of 1963’s original rally cry for equality, and attempting to incite a second movement of social justice for a new generation of Americans.

Some 1,500 members of the media were in attendance, blocking the view for most of the general entrants with bulky cameras and plastic tents. Why such a huge event would permit a 19-year-old student into the press corral was beyond me. Read more…