The ivory tower of higher education has finally gone too far. Or maybe this is just another example of the disease of political correctness that has infected our colleges and universities for far too long.
Or, perhaps this is an example of our worst fear: Higher education in American is not about independent thought and freedom of expression, but it is about teaching correct behavior — at least, correct behavior in the eyes of those in power.
New York University, located in New York City, apparently sanctions snitching — and gleefully so — in order to enforce flawed policies, according to Reason. The outlet reported that based on a video provided to the school by a fellow attendee, a senior was suspended for attending an off-campus party last month that allegedly violated the school’s COVID-19 policy.
NYU’s reported actions here are particularly egregious because the student in question, Andy (a pseudonym adopted to protect his identity), apparently complied with New York City COVID-19 guidelines.
“The party was consistent with New York City’s Phase 4 COVID-19 guidelines, which allow events of up to 50 people. Many attendees went mask-less, but Andy says he didn’t stand in close proximity to anyone other than his roommates — who are also students — and they left after a short while,” according to Reason.
Moreover, Andy does not attend classes on-campus.
“I am not a student who will be staying at or near NYU housing, nor will I be entering Campus Grounds or NYU buildings as I am currently enrolled in all online courses,” he wrote in appealing the school’s decision to suspend him.
Maybe things would be different if the party were held in a cramped on-campus dorm room.
But it wasn’t. It occurred on a rooftop awash in open air.
Moreover, Andy’s assurances to NYU that he regrets attending the party was ignored.
“While it may not appear this way, I have been attempting to stay safe as best I can,” his appeal read. “My attempt to seek some feeling of normalcy was nothing more than a snap decision and I cannot emphasize how much I have learned from this process.”
According to Reason, his appeal was rejected, despite the dire implications that the suspension could have for his future.
“To return to campus in 2021, Andy will need to write a reflection paper and beg for readmission. Resuming his education might be impossible, anyway, since he relies on a full-tuition scholarship that is now threatened by his disciplinary status,” Reason reported.
It is disturbing that NYU reportedly relied on information provided by a snitch to act against Andy. Is snitching the kind of behavior we want our colleges and universities to encourage, especially when the alleged violation of school policy was not a violation at all?
NYU’s University Student Conduct Policy states the following:
“The University shall not use its powers to interfere with the rights of a student beyond the University environment. Conduct that occurs off-campus, online, over social media, or outside the context of a University program or activity, should generally be subject only to the consequences of the applicable authority and/or public opinion. Notwithstanding, the University may take student disciplinary action for conduct occurring outside the University context which substantially disrupts the regular operation of the University or threatens the health, safety, or security of the University community. When conduct constitutes violations of both University policy and public law, a student may be subject to both University student conduct action as well as public sanctions.”
How did the conduct that took place “outside the University context … substantially [disrupt] the regular operation of the University or [threaten] the health, safety, or security of the University community?”
Answer: It didn’t.
The school does have a specific COVID-19 policy as well, but it only applies to “Members of the NYU Community who may be in NYU Buildings and on Campus Grounds in New York.” Considering Andy is an online student who attended an off-campus party, the COVID-19 policy should not have applied to him.
NYU appears to have its priorities sickeningly out of order.
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