NYU: Keep Our Campus Safe

AAUP NYU has signed on to the NYU: Keep Our Campus Safe demands, alongside several labor unions, student organizations, community groups, and individuals. An abbreviated version is below — or view the full statement.

To: Andrew Hamilton, President

Katherine Fleming, Provost

Bill Berkley, Chairman of the Board of Trustees

We are NYU students, faculty, researchers, staff, representatives of unions and advocacy groups, and rank-and-file workers across NYU campuses. We have serious reservations about the administration’s plan to resume in-person classes in Fall 2020.

From the outset, we have been excluded from planning and decision-making, and frustrated by unclear communication from leadership. The abrupt suspension of in-person instruction in March left faculty scrambling to move courses online with no prep time, and forcedstudents to make costly housing and travel plans without key information.Essential workers who remained on campus did not receive PPE from NYU until early April, and have continued to raise alarms about absentee leadership and botched emergency management. NYU’s most precarious workers, the subcontractors who work in campus retail and dining halls, were furloughed or laid off. At every step, students, faculty, and workers have had to personally absorb the costs associated with the administration’s inadequate response.

Contingent and student workers have been disproportionately burdened by the NYU administration’s choices, and plans for Fall 2020 reproduce this inequity. High-level administrators and tenured faculty have been allowed to work remotely, while contingent faculty and workers must weigh health concerns against job security. This approach will compound existing inequalities, and will not keep us safe. We must make different choices.

We call on the NYU administration to consult with the students, faculty and workers who have been excluded from planning, and to adopt a set of principles that will allow us to fulfill this university’s educational mission without further harm to our community.

Maximize opportunities for remote work.

Resuming in-person instruction will expose all members of the NYU community to heightened risk. No one should have to endanger their health to get an education or keep their job; NYU must maximize opportunities for remote work.

Adopt public health measures that minimize policing.

We cannot effectively enforce health and safety rules by policing each other. This approach will expose public safety officers and frontline workers to heightened risk, and will make BIPOC community members vulnerable to further targeting and harassment. A punitive compliance model makes it harder for us to “keep each other safe;” NYU must adopt public health measures that minimize policing.

Protect the most vulnerable.

NYU community members have personally absorbed a host of costs associated with the Spring 2020 shutdown, which disproportionately burdened precarious students, faculty and workers. We are facing near-certain outbreaks next semester; NYU must protect the most vulnerable.

Include us in planning; be transparent and accountable to the community.

The NYU administration’s choices affect all of us, and we must be meaningfully included in decision-making. Rather than making unilateral decisions andlobbying for corporate immunity, NYU must equitably include us in planning, act with transparency, and be accountable to the community.


  1. Organizing Committee, NYU Contract Faculty United (CFU-UAW)
  2. Postdocs for a Plan
  3. Union of Clerical, Administrative & Technical Staff at NYU (UCATS 3882, NYSUT/AFT)
  4. American Association of University Professors, NYU Chapter (NYU-AAUP)
  5. Organizing Committee, Security Professionals of Greater New York (SPGNY)
  6. Student Labor Action Movement (NYU SLAM)
  7. Urban Democracy Lab Student Organizers
  8. Law Students for Economic Justice (NYU LSEJ)
  9. Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC-UAW Local 2110)
  10. Adjuncts Come Together (ACT-UAW Local 7902)
  11. Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU Local 153)