What: Rally to Oppose NYU Expansion/Debt Plan
When: Tuesday, February 21st @ 1PM
The NYU administration plans to expand the physical footprint of the university by 40% over the next two decades. Where will they get the $6 billion it will cost to pull this off? NYU refuses to answer this key question. But students and their families—already forced into over-borrowing to meet rising college costs—know that the funds will come from their ever-swelling debt burden.
The Occupy Student Debt Campaign, GSOC-UAW, and NYU4OWS will stage a rally on February 21st at 1pm to call attention to the injustice of NYU’s apparent business plan: Enroll ever more heavily indebted students to pay for the new buildings. The cost of this redevelopment is estimated at $6 billion—3 times the current endowment of NYU—and yet the administration has not been transparent about its fiscal plans. Asked how NYU will pay for this huge project, one senior administrator replied, more truthfully than she seemed to know: “NYU is not afraid of debt.”
NYU students already bear the heaviest debt burden in the nation (now at a volume 40% above the national average). Many will never be able to pay off their debts. As the cost of going to NYU keeps rising, it is these students’ future wages that will bankroll the biggest real estate development mounted in downtown Manhattan since the days of Robert Moses.
Reckless, debt-leveraged investment in new buildings has also jeopardized the fiscal health of other downtown colleges like the New School and the Cooper Union. But this is a nationwide pattern. Universities across the country have taken to funneling their stepped-up tuition fees into risk-prone real estate ventures.
The rally will feature speakers drawn from the faculty, students, and clerical and teaching unions at NYU. Members of the Greenwich Village community groups have also united in fierce opposition to the plan which they see as a threat to public health and the environment.
Occupy Student Debt Campaign is a subcommittee of the Empowerment and Education working group of Occupy Wall Street. For more, go to www.occupystudentdebtcampaign.org GSOC-UAW is the graduate student union at NYU. NYU4OWS is a group of students and faculty that stands in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered direct action movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. OWS is part of a growing international movement fighting against repressive economic practices, the crimes of Wall Street, government controlled by monied interests, and the resulting income inequality, unemployment, environmental destruction, and oppression of people at the front lines of the economic crisis. For more visit www.occupywallst.org