Students Hold Protest Against Sexton’s Policies, NYU 2031, And High Tuition Costs

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.”

[image via]



7 Comments

  • ollie sam
    April 10, 2013

    It’s the students and their parents tuition that is paying John Sexton and his entourage’s salary so . . . . Conrats to the students who are speaking up against the NYU expansion. if you just break down NYU’s statement: that it “is critical to maintaining NYU?s extraordinary academic trajectory” said NYU spokesman John Beckman” one has to question what John Beckman (John Sextons mouth piece) means by trajectory. NYU’s interest certainly has nothing to do with education, that is just the guise for it’s vast real estate empire. And the fact that the students and thier parents are flipping the buck for NYU’s real estate “trajectory” is simply outrageous. instead of NYU becoming a better school academically, instead of NYU keeping its tuition down and making it harder to get into, it constantly increases the enrollment so it can increase the monies it brings in. More studens means more dorm rooms which is nothing but the cash cow for NYU. More adjunct professors to save on salaries, less benefits for those working to maintain NYU. A good business plan for a for profit corporation whose interest is solely profit. But NYU is a not for profit educational institution, who does not pay real estate taxes, does received state and federal monies, pays the likes of Jack Lew millions when they leave NYU to work for Citibank who made millions and millions off NYU student loans. NYU who has never kept a promise to the community, who steals public park land from the citizens of NY. Who builds the god awfulliest architecture, who does nothing totally nothing for Greenwich Village, who pays close to minimum wage for many of their employees, and loses money every day on NYU’s so called global university. The only ones who benefit from NYU’s expansion is John Sexton, and the board of trustees who coincidently are made up of the biggest real estate developers in NY. NYU has been bullying the community for years and years, and having Michael Bloomberg and Christine Quinn, and Margaret Chin in their back pockets they have gotten away with it. So thank you and kudos to the students whose money is paying John Sextons salary for standing up and saying NO STOP NYU2031.

  • Jack Daehler
    April 10, 2013

    In the first question, about the two NYU lawsuits, Sexton, gives false information to students: (which isn’t surprising). His eliptical rambling style is designed to mislead.

    Sexton addressed two lawsuits: of the first he says” It was ‘dismissed’ implying that it was frivolous and NYU “won.’ He stated that the plaintiffs can appeal, but that essentially it is ‘case closed.”
    That is false information: The first lawsuit was filed by residents of the housing complex at Washington Square Village. It was “dismissed without prejudice”, which means that the judge deemed it premature. The judge ruled that it can be re-filed (no appeal is necessary) at a later date when the plans for the NYU buildings that will crowd the residents is filed.

    Of the second lawsuit, he neglects to mention that the suit claims that NYU has no right to take over city parks. Sexton states that NYU is building on its own land, and that is a ‘huge savings’ that will benefit students directly. The land in the Superblocks was deeded with restrictions. The land flanking the Superblocks are owned by the city of New York, and NYU will have to destroy city parks to build. The interior and sides are parks, and zoned and deeded to remain residential. The public has a vested stake in this space and the Community Board voted unanimously against it. (he fails to mentions this). NYU is building on the backs the residential Village, crowding out many middle class residents. (including professors). This plan will destroy public parks that are owned by the city. So his explanation is full of deliberate deception when he lobs the defense – - ‘We own this property”

    HE states that the billion dollar building project (with no transparent means of funding) will ‘save students in tuition” is another deception. His rationale that building on the superblocks is cheaper than buying new land is meant to imply that everyone will get a tuition cut once this pyramid scheme It is a pyramid scheme of spending begin, all being, built on the student’s back.

    Another crazy rationale to building on the Superblocks: He says we have a 40 year un-airconditioned gym, and that keeping Coles will drive up student health costs (????) He forgets to mention the recent brand new gym, the Palladium. If that wasn’t good enough, who planned that? And then says ‘no we don’t have an edifice complex”

    It would cost less to air condition the second gym (Coles) that build a skyscaper in its place, but that isn’t mentioned.

  • Paul Funkhouser
    April 10, 2013

    A coalition for a collective NYU action on May Day 2013 is meeting for the first time this Thursday, April 11, on the fourth floor of the Puck building (295 Lafayette St) at 9:00pm.

    This will be a group of individuals, representing themselves and/or their respective NYU club/organization, coming together to organize actions on and around May 1, 2013. Unified, students and faculty will be able to effectively and meaningfully voice dissent against the unacceptable corporatization of our university and the broader structures of education inequality.

    Education is a right that should be available to everyone, and not a privilege reserved for the few. A student call for an equal approach to education draws in many of the campaigns being fought by various groups around campus, and it is a base that all students can rally behind. NYU’s increasingly corporate approach to education is burying thousands of students in debt. Grievances against NYU are multiplying and becoming more publicly visible. The University has made it clear that there is no space for the voices of students and faculty, as it continues to put profit above education. This is a unique opportunity for opposition forces to come together and fight for a democratic university that respects students, faculty, and staff, and supports and works to better its community, both locally and globally.

    Let’s work together to join forces and amplify our power as a movement. Let’s mobilize for May Day. Pass this information along to all, like wildfire. We can demand and demonstrate to the university the democracy that our students, workers, and faculty deserve.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/441619515926221/

  • David Blair
    April 10, 2013

    If Sexton is going to operate NYU like a massively expanding corporation, then NYU should be taxed like a corporation (real estate and income taxes). Fair is fair.

  • Mark Jones
    April 11, 2013

    Jack – I agree that it would cost a lot less to air condition and update Coles. In fact they could just air condition the weight room and racquetball courts and that would suffice.

    If Sexton’s administration really believes that health costs are higher at NYU because Coles isn’t air conditioned, do any of you really believe that we should be trusting his administriation with a $6 billion + development plan?

  • Joe Shuttlecock
    April 12, 2013

    Oh boo hoo. What defines the area around washington sq park more than NYU. The argument that the expansion will ruin the village’s charm is ridiculous. at the heart of the village is NYU. The students are what keep a lot of the coffee shops and restaurants in business. Students are the blood that runs through the villages veins. Anyone who sees them as a poison needs to vacate.

  • Jonny Levin
    May 5, 2013

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