NYU Student Faces COVID Financial Hardship—Tell NYU to Allow them to Register Immediately!

NYU Student Faces COVID Financial Hardship—Tell NYU to Allow them to Register Immediately!

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Graduate Student Organizing Committee UAW 2110 started this petition to New York University

We, members of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC-UAW Local 2110) and the GSOC International Students Caucus, condemn NYU’s refusal to allow an international graduate student from Egypt to register for the fall semester.

The student has faced significant financial hardship and loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as have many. They are currently awaiting the results of a scholarship in order to account for tuition and fees owed to NYU. However, NYU has refused to wait or work with the student, instead choosing to threaten to bar them from registration and access to Albert (NYU’s academic portal for students). The student has reached out to the university and the Bursar but has received neither assistance nor any indication that the office is working on a plan to support the student during this difficult time.

NYU prides itself on being “home to the highest number of international students in the United States” and a global university. Yet, now that one of their international students’ - the only Arab and only Egyptian student in his cohort - situation has been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, NYU has so far failed to support them. Further, this refusal is in spite of the fact he has demonstrated an excellent academic track record and important contributions to the field of new media art. After helping to start a new media art scene in his working class neighborhood in Cairo (where his family still resides), the student has taught video games as an art form in centers around the world (Egypt, Armenia, France, and USA). He often holds special classes for free to support under-represented voices in the field, teaching in refugee camps, public universities, and with artist groups that support women in the field of video games. He regularly shows his work in international art venues, most recently in Egypt’s Cairotronica 2021 and in a solo show at NYC’s Museum of the Moving Image in 2019. The student has gone above and beyond the norm for academic and art world achievements to demonstrate his value as a new voice and thinker in the field of interactive media, but instead of offering the student a mentorship role or recognition, NYU is now threatening to remove the student from academic life. Instead of working with the student to defer payment, as the university had initially did during the student’s first year of his program, the university is now asking him to pay in full or be disallowed from continuing his studies.

The university’s actions are putting the student’s education at risk and represent an outright refusal to aid a student in a crisis. We call on NYU to fulfill the following demands:

1. NYU must immediately allow the student to register for fall classes.
2. NYU must refrain from blocking the student from Albert - and thus their avenue to all academic life at NYU.
3. NYU must waive the student’s outstanding balance. At the very least, the university must significantly reduce it and wait for the student’s scholarship decision.

Join us in calling on NYU to immediately allow the student to register and continue their education, and to waive all outstanding balances!

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