A little more than a month ago NYU was back in the news, but not for the reasons one might expect. It all began with an anonymous post on December 21 to the popular Facebook page NYU Secrets, it read:
“ConWest teacher freshman year for ‘antiquity and the 19th century’ referred to the Bible as a ‘Book of Spells’ and ‘The Original Harry Potter’ regularly when he would use it as a piece of the lecture. I am not even that religious, but found it so disgusting and disrespectful that I had no choice but to file a complaint. He no longer teaches classes at NYU.”
The post sparked vehement debate in the form of comments which eventually caught the attention of the wider internet. Conservative and Christian blogs began taking notice, and began crying heathen. The National Review said “atheist proselytizing is a favorite pastime among the smug academic secularists of our time” going on to say that Darwin “made lots of money selling books that portray all non-atheists as idiots”. Christiannews.net aptly observed that NYU Secrets posts range from “sexual matters to spying on others” going on to feature a list of quoted comments that did not exactly portray our student body in a godly light.
So, just when we were getting all warm and fuzzy with nostalgia for the disapproval that was showered on NYU during the Chick-fil-a debacle, behold! NYU Vice President John Beckman confirms no such firing took place; said Beckman, “I checked with several current and past deans; no one is familiar with this story. It likewise rings no bells for me.”
When we asked him what official procedure would come into play in such a situation he more vague, saying “there are well-established procedures for disputes between students and faculty to be resolved.” As far as we are aware, the professor currently teaching the course that the Facebook poster mentioned is Professor Vincent Renzi. Renzi, (of last semester’s “put your laptops away or go enroll in the University of Phoenix” fame) has been teaching that course for some time with biblical texts on his syllabus. He is held in high esteem at the University as one of the director’s of CAS’s Morse Academic Plan. Whether or not Renzi did refer to religious texts in the alleged way remains unconfirmed by the University.