As students in America’s largest city, there are many dangers that could befall us. We can get hit by a cab, get mugged, fall off a fire escape, get trapped in an elevator, get murdered, and other horrifying things. There’s certainly a lot for NYU Security to be concerned about, and we at NYU Local hope you stay safe. But there’s something we didn’t know NYU was worried about: cult recruiting.
On NYU’s campus safety site, there’s a section dedicated to identifying cults. Apparently, they have been known to recruit young, innocent souls in Washington Square Park. Public safety warns that cult members may “[share] with you the answers they have found to life’s questions, they may seek to enlist your time, energy, and resources in endeavors they believe to be worthwhile.”
NYU seems to be pretty much alone in their concerns, as other New York City universities make no mention of cults on their campus safety websites. Out of 20 NYU students surveyed, only two had ever seen obviously active cult members in the park, and they were the widely-known crazies The Hare Krishna. It seems unlikely that students who are in possession of enough mental acuity to be accepted to New York University would be tempted to throw on some orange robes and start chanting, but we suppose you never know.
Besides Elizabeth Olsen, there don’t seem to be too many NYU students out there who’ve signed up for forced group-think, collective living, and probable sexual misconduct or drug use. Although we suppose those terms could be used to describe college in general.
If you are ever approached by a charismatic stranger in the park who tempts you to free yourself of the shackles of polite society, think of Public Safety, and think about it before you say yes. Joining a cult is an excellent way of avoiding the stress of midterms, but it is also an excellent way to learn how to become a mass murderer.
We have approached NYU for comment, and have yet to hear back. Let us know if you have plans to join a cult! We would love to interview you.