NYU faculty and students recently joined longtime residents of Greenwich Village to protest the Sexton Plan—a hare-brained Trump-type overbuilding project that would turn a densely populated residential neighborhood into a live construction site for twenty years, wipe out some two acres of green space, privatize long swathes of public land, and, in the end, make Greenwich Village look like Abu Dhabi.
All that is bad enough; but that’s not all, because the Sexton Plan is just as bad for NYU itself as it is for the Village, New York City and the planet. While Sexton’s PR team insists the Plan will somehow make NYU stronger academically, and benefit the city economically, the fact—as more and more of NYU’s own faculty can see—is that the Plan will very likely trash the university, by making it a third-rate institution, or just bankrupting it: an outcome with no economic benefit to New York City.
The speakers at the rally made these points, among others, in focusing on how the Sexton Plan will be financed by student debt—a crucial point, since NYU’s graduates are burdened with more student debt than any other graduates in the country. That they should not only have to toil for years to pay it off, but also see it used to finance such a reckless and destructive project, was the rally’s message.
You can watch a video of the whole rally. The excerpt here features the remarks by Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, and MCM, of NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan.
p.s. On March 28, at 7:00 p.m., there will be a panel on the Sexton Plan, and what it says about the corporate university in general, at the McNally Jackson Bookstore, 52 Prince St., NYC. This NFU event, co-sponsored by Truthout.org, will feature authors Jennifer Washburn (University, Inc.), Sharon Zukin, Brooklyn College (Naked City), Tom Angotti, Hunter College (New York for Sale), and Andrew Ross, NYU (Nice Work If You Can Get It and Bird on Fire).