Hamilton Flips NYU the Bird: Edits to a ‘Note’ From President Hamilton

NYU Sanctuary
Feb 8, 2017 · 4 min read

The email from NYU’s president is an effort by the administration to discourage political organization on our campus toward making NYU a Sanctuary Campus. In this age of “new uncertainties,” we call out our administration for prioritizing their image and the financial interests of an unaccountable Board of Trustees over the needs of the students, staff, and faculty. Vague commitments and video feeds of birds are not enough.

We made some edits to Hamilton’s letter. Students all over the country are walking out in the face of Trump. We need better than this from NYU!

Edits to Hamilton’s Letter

The respite of winter break traditionally brings a sense of renewal. This year is different. It is not just the violence that took place during the holidays — in Turkey, in Germany, and elsewhere — it is also the new uncertainties we face in the United States.

For a university as global as NYU, the recent restrictions on travel would in any event be a particular challenge, at odds with our faith in global engagement and the free movement of ideas, students, and scholars. But the executive order announced last week is made more troubling still by discriminating against Muslims.

It has frightened many in our community, and rightly shaken us all.

Our first duty in the face of these demoralizing [UNJUST] developments is to do our best to care for our colleagues, peers, and friends; to make clear they are welcome and have a rightful place in this University; and to reassure them that we stand with them.

We have already seen such solidarity these past few days, both in the work of the School of Law’s [CHRONICALLY UNDERFUNDED] Immigrants Rights Clinic, which — in conjunction with interventions by Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler — successfully freed three NYU students detained at the US border and in the participation of hundreds of students, faculty, and staff in the peaceful Soulful Justice Rally in the Kimmel Center.

But we should not mislead ourselves into thinking that NYU will be immune from the sharper aspects of the conflicts and divisiveness our nation now confronts.

That was evident in the events at Kimmel the following night when a controversial invitee of one of our student clubs spoke.

As I communicated to the NYU community last month and in November, NYU will be steadfast in its commitment to the privacy of our students, faculty, and staff, and will not voluntarily assist in any government efforts to disrupt the lives of immigrants or undocumented members of our community.

You can also view the annotations to his letter here. (Please note that the section beginning with ‘We should not mislead ourselves’ is not published on NYU’s web version of the letter.)

For more information and/or to get involved, contact us at nyusanctuary@protonmail.com.

NYU Sanctuary

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Committed to upholding the key values of NYU and protecting our students, staff, workers, and faculty.