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NYU suspends a student—who’s taking this semester off—for having a few friends in his home

My younger son is a sophomore at NYU, in the Tisch program, studying acting. I say “would be,” because the move online decided him, and others in the program, to take a gap semester, since you can’t study acting online. 

A classmate of his, who’s also taking the semester off, and working full-time, was just told by the head of NYU’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards that he’s suspended all this year, through the summer, and will be on probation all next year because he had seven friends over at his house. Some young Stasi wannabe on Snapchat actually reported him to NYU, in line with NYU’s directive urging students to snitch on others (a measure that some of my “progressive” colleagues here approve).

This at a moment when, as the New York Times has recently (and quietly) reported, there are “no hotspots in the US,” and (as the Times has not reported) New York City’s COVID-19 crisis is now over, epidemiologically speaking. The wayward student talked at length with the commissar who runs that office, trying to get some clarity on why this happened, since Gov. Cuomo’s order allows gatherings of ten or fewer people. He had seven people over, in his home. He knew them all (all are New Yorkers), and knew they had all been duly masked, and “social-distancing.” The commissar could not explain what rules the now-suspended student broke, just that his “behavior” was improper, and that that gathering could have been a “superspreader event” (just like that bikers’ rally in Sturgis, S.D., which seems to have caused just a handful of new “cases”; but not like all those BLM protests—huge and noisy gatherings that NYU’s leadership applauded, and that, magically, “spread” nothing, since COVID-19 only strikes “deplorables”). 

So, on the basis of mere bureaucratic whim (and a lot of fear and ignorance), NYU is punishing a student for entirely legal “congregation” in his own home, when he’s not even enrolled at NYU.

This kind of thing is happening at universities and colleges from coast to coast, as one school after another makes the whole experience of “higher education” as unenjoyable and punitive as possible, while still charging exorbitant tuition/fees (NYU being among the costliest schools in the US). Thus those schools are not just doing their students wrong, but cutting their own throats.

I think this ought to make some news; so if anyone has any ideas as to how that might be done, feel free to let me know, or use this email as you see fit.

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