Saturday, October 07, 2006

NYU's "Community Facilities?"

After the crane incident on 13th street and 3rd ave last week, elderly residents evacuated from nearby buildings sought shelter in the NYU dorm on 11th and 3rd. NYU security called the police to remove them, leaving them with only the option of walking to 17th street for shelter until 2 am. NYU receives allowances excusing it from various zoning and tax requirements because its dorms are considered community facilities. How can something be a community facility if elderly people are not even allowed to sit in the lobby after being evacuated from their homes? (Incidently, not a single NYU facility has been made accessable to the public during OpenHouseNewYork, a weekend allowing the public to see the insides of architecturally and historically significant buildings, even though NYU owns such significant buildings as the former Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and the houses on Washington Mews. Again, not community facilities.)

Nerds intend to write a post about the most recent union-busting NLRB decision whey they have a bit more time.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, this DOES kind of suck on the part of NYU. Some security guards can be jerks, but most of them are quite wonderful most of the time.

There was an assault at the 3rd North dorm a few years ago when an inattentive guard let someone into the building; the person tried to molest a woman who was using the bathroom. So it does make sense to be cautious, even with seniors.

Still, there could be a "case by case" emergency policy where security guards are trained to evaluate and respond to situations involving the community as they arise. I'm sure that had the security guards not been concerned about the safety of students, they would have let these people stay and take shelter.

10/07/2006 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I agree -- cut the elderly some slack. However, I don't think you can blame the individual guards. They are subject to the draconian policy instituted by the incident mentioned in the previous post. They need their paychecks too, and no doubt Sextons henchjerks in the higher-end of Campus Protection would can any guard who permitted a displaced elderly person to "threaten their insurance policy" by allowing them to sit in the lobby.

Now, because I majored in History (back in pre-Historical times -- ha ha) I must point out that the Washington Mews houses are not the best options for the Open House NYC event. They were essentially bake houses for The Row on the Square. I think #5 and #6 WSN would be better candidates to show off some genuine Greek Revival architecture and decor. To be fair, #6's staff is usually very accommodating to visitors looking to get a glimpse of NYC's history. I don't know about #5. the Mews is better seen from the outside, lol, and the gates are open so visitors are permitted to do that.

As for the Triangle Shirtwaist building (formerly the Asch Building), I don't think I would want curious tourists traipsing through the scene of a horrific fire, where more than 100 young and exploited people died (badly). Too many of those weird looky-loos that probably go to psychic fairs and scenances. However, I have always thought it would be more appropriate for a Social Science department to occupy those floors in the (now) Brown Building. Having Chemistry in there is almost a bad joke.

I enjoyed chipping in my 2 cents! Thanks for the forum to do so.

10/08/2006 3:02 PM  
Blogger specter of marx said...

I'm in total agreement with anon #1 -- the NYU security guards with whom I've had personal contact have been nothing but gracious and professional. I can only guess that BnR was critiquing NYU policy (as anon #2 suggests), and not necessarily the guards themselves.

The point has been made before on this blog: NYU is a private institution receiving significant city/state/federal subsidies; it even bills itself as "a private university in the public service." It's time it put a little bench space where its mouth is.

10/08/2006 8:00 PM  

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