Property Grunt

Friday, February 20, 2009

The few at NYU: Final Words

Other than some entertaining 3 days, none of the demands that were made were ever met. Now the students who decided to stick it out have now been suspended and kicked out of the dorms Which means these kids have lost a ton of cash for tuition and housing.

So this was pretty futile gesture in civil disobedience. Right?

I am not so sure. First of all this event has demonstrated how utterly unprepared NYU is able to deal with civil disobedience amongst its students.

As you can see Protective Services is on the defensive in these two clips. But do not make the mistake that they are not trained for to deal with these types of situations. I know a bunch of them who train in martial arts, fighting or just have a life time of experience surviving in the roughest parts of New York City. They are far from wussies. The students should consider themselves lucky, even the ones who are suspended and lose their housing because those guards could have seriously f**ked them up.

The reason they are restraining themselves is because they are dealing with students not civilians. It is a whole different ball game if a member of the university engages in some type of physical action against a student because it becomes a legal and PR nightmare.

That is why these students were treated with kid gloves. This is not a good thing for NYU. Even though this entire event was a failure, it serves as an excellent teaching tool for the next wave.

If a group is large enough and they are able to mobilize in a quick and efficient manner and do not take any actions to destroy property or hurt others, they have a huge grace period to pretty much do what they want.

Now imagine multiple groups who take over key areas of NYU. From the library, admissions, to the film school, the business school and those lovely brownstones that line up outside of Washington Square Park that serve as offices for the university.

It would paralyze the entire university and it would require the use of police force. Which is something that no one, especially the Trustees of NYU want.

So what would cause students to stage an uprising of that level? It would not be the lack of financial transparency nor would it be about tuition freezes. It would have to deal the very lives of students themselves being placed in harms way without their permission.

In my memory that type of student uprising occurred 40 years ago. If you need specifics, go google it.

Could a situation like that occur in our lifetime? Look around us, look at the world.