Saturday, February 21, 2009
The more I think about the entire TBNYU fiasco, the angrier I get.
I can't help but feel like the desire for budget disclosure and better financial aid--issues that most if not all NYU students agree should be discussed with the administration--have been monopolized and subsequently stolen from the NYU student community.
Perhaps TBNYU doesn't understand the gravity of the situation at hand. By lumping in these two very reasonable "demands" (though "requests" might be a more appropriate term) with more radical ones, they have discredited any student organization also seeking budget disclosure.
What TBNYU doesn't understand is that they didn't have the right to steal this from us! Just because they got national attention does not mean that NYU is now interested in seeking open dialogue on the issues: in fact, it basically means the opposite. The administration will most likely now be more tight-lipped, dodgy and suspicious of the idea of discussing these important issues than they ever were before.
Because budget disclosure and financial aid issues belong to every member of the NYU student community, not just this fringe section of the student body. And now that they have been co-opted and marred by the radical actions taken by TBNYU students, those of us who have had meetings with John Sexton on these very same issues are never going to have our voices heard again.
I feel like we've been set back so much by this student group. I understand that they truly believed that what they were doing was good and just and necessary, but what gave them the right to demand these things of the administration without attempting to suss out the opinion of the student body first? How would the pro-Israeli students feel if NYU became partisan and pandered to the interests of pro-Palestinian groups? How would those of us who already can't find places to study in Bobst during midterms feel if there's some drunk bum passed out in the stacks because the library has been opened to the public? I'm angry because TBNYU did not engage the student community with these issues before taking over Kimmel. I'm angry because the more reasonable requests were overshadowed by the absurd ones, rendering the reasonable ones obsolete. And not obsolete just for TBNYU students, but also for other NYU students interested in pursuing these goals.
By taking such drastic action secretly and originally masking their political moves as a "dance party" without consulting the greater NYU community at large, TBNYU has essentially discredited those of us who would like to start a mature, open dialogue about the NYU budget.
These weren't TBNYU's issues to take from us. They were all of ours, important in a different and highly personal way to every single student at NYU. And now none of us will be able to reap any benefits from their actions or any future actions taken on this issue. Budget disclosure has become a moot point, marred by the radicalism TBNYU expressed. I have a year and a half left at NYU, and there is no way budget disclosure will ever become a legitimate issue while I'm a student. And after all of this (something that Duncan and TBNYU have used as arguments for why we need financial aid reform) that just pisses me the fuck off.