New York, USA
New York University is an independent research university in New York City, serving the people of New York and its many Diaspora. Named after the first professor of medicine, Dr. Jay Seward, it was founded by an all-star group of New York State investors led by then-Governor Thomas Jefferson Gallatin. The school has won many academic degrees and awards, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York, the Outstanding Academician prize, the trustees’ Cup, among others. It has also, however, made notorious mistakes.
Among its most recent realignments was the decision to eliminate two schools located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The decision was met with protests from students and faculty. The first was the decision to close down the groundbreaking Biohub, a space devoted to public research that housed the HIV/AIDS Center. Another decision was to close down the social science department’s Columbia Center on Staten Island, which had been located in the old brownstone of Washington Square Park and has long housed the Graduate School of Public Health.
Recently, there have been changes to the university’s dining services. The dining rooms in both the old New York Union Square campus and the newer New York W.T.C. Park and Bowery apartment buildings will be merged into one centralized study lounge. The move, critics say, signals the disappearance of a community spirit that used to exist in the dining rooms of both buildings.
In the dining room at the New York University’s campuses in New York City, students sit around a table and eat dinner. A student sits at a desk and takes notes, while other tries to dance in the ‘student lounge’. The decision to close down the dance room at the New York University has caused mixed reactions from students.
Some students are excited about the decision to close down the dance room. They would like to see a change in the programming that occupies that area of the study lounge. The Lounge, it was once noted, was sometimes used by non-students for studying and for watching movies. Now, it seems, non-students will be the only ones using that space.
According to university spokesperson Allen Houghton, there will be small adjustments made to the lounge. For instance, the lounge will not be used as a waiting area for visiting guests. Currently, visitors are directed to the guest wing of the building where they can wait for a guest to appear. When they do, people using the study lounges can watch a movie or play video games.
The changes come as somewhat of a surprise to some who live and work on the New York campus. Some say that students used to congregate in the study lounges to listen to music and discuss issues as a unit. Now the lounge will be used for activities that don’t involve studying. A few individuals have suggested that the union square and music practice rooms could become co-ed. This would free up the Lounge for use by other students wishing to talk or watch a movie.
The changes come at a time when New York is experiencing a rise in both the number of new college applicants and the number of students accepted into the university’s traditional undergraduate program. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design reports that New York is one of ten states that lead the nation in the increase of applications. It is also one of five states with the highest share of part-time online students. New York University’s part-time online enrollment rate is actually lower than the ratio of full-time online students. The reasons for the difference are not immediately clear. But if these factors combine with an overall tightening nationwide picture, then the New York University admissions process may be more competitive than ever.