Dear Chair Burden and fellow Commissioners,
My name is Malina Webb and I am a rising senior at New York University. At NYU, students notice the lack of space. Speaking from the student perspective, I have seen this first hand as a resident assistant. I work at a freshman hall and I see students studying in the hallway, in abandoned corners of the basement level hallways and in the dining halls and common space. But even then, I hear complaints about the lack of space and the need for more areas dedicated to study. I sat on a focus group about Community at NYU last year, and many students echoed similar thoughts, and stated that more common space would encourage interaction and promote community amongst the student body.
Come finals and midterms, students in the library jockey for space and electrical outlets for laptops become extremely valued and protected items. If a student is not there at the right time, they may have to wait hours for space to open up. This seems ridiculous, but during finals and midterms it is not uncommon for study space to be difficult to find. The student body requires more space to study, to expand for extracurricular programs and student activities.
On a personal note, I babysit for many residents of the village community. I understand what it is like to live near this university (as I myself live in the residence hall off of Washington Square Park) and I have only seen positive impacts on the residents that I work for or with. Most are happy to have an intelligent babysitter who resides so close to home and is available. Many of the kids in the community look up to and aspire to be students at NYU. Many students volunteer and work in the community, at the local stores and restaurants. The students are just looking to continue doing what we have done as a part of the University, to continue to grow and learn at this institution of learning. The University has been a part of the village and the village is an integral part of the locational endowment the University.