I feel like much of the stigma associated with NYU's 2031 Plan has to do with allocation of resources. Most feel that this project is an irresponsible use of university funds, as are most of John Sexton's other expenditures. Unlike most of the NYU population, I am pro 2031 and support John Sexton. I feel that as the largest private university in the country, NYU has a responsibility to its students to offer the best facilities possible, and I believe that the tuition I pay to attend such a prestigious university should in part subsidize this effort.
First of all, I would like to show my support for the president of our university. Despite excessive claims that our university has suffered under his guidance, I would like to point out this incredible page of statistics
on how our university has improved in the last ten years. Now, whether or not these improvements are a direct result of his actions may be debatable, but I believe as the figurehead of NYU, John sexton has insured that these improvements are possible while being an inspiring mentor and leader of the community.
An argument I hear often from students against the NYU 2031 plan is that we should focus on improving the facilities we have instead of erecting new ones. Starting with the Brittany Project this year, NYU is going through the dorm system and finding the places most in need of improvement and setting a timeline for improvements. Large projects such as these take time and planning, so although the effects may not be blatantly obvious to the community already, NYU is constantly updating its existing structures.
Although expensive, this constant construction on our university is necessary to keep it in the incredible condition it is in. The facilities at University of California at Berkeley, another top university, pale in comparison as it is a public university without the resources NYU is privy to. The buildings are crumbling and the classrooms are dirty; this is why I turned down my admissions offer. And even through the upkeep of the university does in part come out of the tuition we pay the university, the university is not solely focused on building projects. With the rising tuition in the last ten the last ten years, university scholarships have increased by 138%. And even though we spend a great deal of money on our global sites, the relationship we have established in Abu Dhabi is allowing us to have our entire library digitized - for free.
As for building new structures, as the largest private university in the country (and growing) we are starved for space. A prime example being the location of this class: Gallatin seems to shove its classes wherever it can find a spare room. 53% of the 2031 plan is meant for academic use, a much-needed addition to NYU's classroom space. The rest of the breakdown is as follows:
- 17% student housing
- 9% athletic
- 6% faculty housing
- 7% community (non-NYU) use
- 5% other (including parking)
- (but some flexibility is built in)
The only part that concerns me at this point is the 7% for community use. This being said, I'm not sure that the building site is currently designated as public space, just partially used as such. The plan also guarantees a few other things:
- Specified space must be created and donated for community (non-NYU) use
- Increased open space accessible to the public
- Commitment to maintain the newly created city-owned parks
- No hotel on either of the two superblocks
- No temporary gym on either of the two superblocks
- Granting the city an option until 2014 on the westernmost building on the south superblock to build a K-8 public school. If the city does not take this option, 25% of the above grade space of that building must be for community (non-NYU) use.
One of the greatest losses in the time it takes to construct this plan is the demolition of one of our two gyms. Still, most people I know would rather walk all the way up to Palladium than use the lackluster facilities at Coles. In the meantime, the university has promised a temporary gym somewhere, we'll see if that actually happens.
As for current students worried that the construction will upset their everyday lives and college ambiance, construction will not begin until 2013 at the earliest (probably later knowing NYU) and the majority of the construction will not begin until 2022, in which case most of us, I hope, will be long gone.
If you have specific concerns regarding the 2031 plan, contact the working group
. Aside from that, please stop attributing this plan as another pointless expenditure by John Sexton.