Yesterday the newly formed group “NYU Students Against the Sexton Plan” held their first protest of the 2031 Plan and John Sexton’s policies. Though the group is in its infancy, its founders plan for it to be a student led organization that will be vocally opposed to NYU administrators and their policies.
A crowd of about twenty protestors chanted things such as “NYU we won’t let you keep building off our debt.” Some students held signs with slogans like “Why is John Sexton’s salary $1,476,625?” and “Why are NYU students among the most indebted in the nation?”
Protest organizer Kristina Mayman, a sophomore in Metropolitan Studies, said that “our main focus is the money, how our tuition is spent.” Mayman called the 2031 expansion plan “unnecessary,” offering the alternative that NYU could “not admit as many students.” Beyond wider budgetary concerns, the group also aims to highlight the discrepancy between the compensation of administrators and those of adjunct professors and teaching assistants. Mayman characterized administrator salaries as “inexcusably huge.”
Mayman and the protestors seemed to take particular issue with Sexton stating at a town hall meeting that students should keep out of the campaign against him because they are “uninformed.” Mayman said she wants students “have visibility in the streets because so far the faculty has been doing most of the work.” She said that ultimately the group wants “more transparency,” and that NYU should “open the books” to the public, as well as give students and faculty a greater say in university policy.
Protestor and 45 year resident of Greenwich Village Hubert Steed characterized the presentation of the 2031 Plan as having a “basic dishonesty” to the residents of Greenwich Village and as a “corporate ploy.” He said the expansion plan would be devastating to the neighborhood, claiming it would “destroy a lot of small business,” and that construction would be “very disruptive to the neighborhood.”
As a longtime resident of the village, he felt that 2031 would ultimately ruin the neighborhood’s character, lamenting that places like 3rd Street have become “a wall of NYU buildings.”