A Letter to Parents from NYU President Andrew Hamilton
Date: November 6, 2020
TO: NYU Parents
FROM: NYU President Andrew Hamilton
Dear NYU Parents, Guardians, and Loved Ones,
With the long-anticipated — though still unresolved — national election now past, I thought you would want to hear briefly about life on campus and in New York City.
The election was taken very seriously by our students. Their commitment to voting and to the democratic process is a source of pride for us, as I hope it will be for you. And they have been steadfast and patient as the hours and days have passed without a final result. All this augurs well for our nation's future, because making progress always starts with engagement and commitment and perseverance.
No doubt you are aware of the concerns about protests in the city and worry, as we do, about the possibility of their becoming uncontrolled or violent. We are monitoring events closely here; however, the large-scale disruptions that some foresaw for New York have not emerged so far. There have been some demonstrations, including some near our facilities, but they have been modest and overwhelmingly peaceful. We have well- established plans for dealing with emergencies, should they be needed, starting with rapid messaging capabilities.
Against this backdrop, life carries on. The students — both those here and those studying remotely — are proceeding with their academic work, as are the faculty, administrators, and staff. We see commendable conscientiousness in observing our safety and health rules, and our COVID rates remain stable and low. Given these outcomes, we are reopening our gym facilities for limited numbers, and also have started a program so that small groups of students can reserve classrooms to carry on club and campus life activities in small, physically distanced settings; we hope this will address some of the students' hopes for more engagement.
In November, one's thoughts naturally begin to turn to Thanksgiving and then to the winter break. We will have additional guidance for students about Thanksgiving in the coming days; I know everyone is eager for it, so they can make plans.
We all would prefer to have spared NYU students the difficulties and challenges of these last few months, if we could. However, I think the tests they have faced will mark this generation in a good way: it will show them their own fortitude and grit, which they have demonstrated so amply. And I hope it gives them a sense of unity.
Mainly I want you to know that, for the most part, everything is going well here. Looking back at the uncertainty of last spring and summer, that seems like quite an accomplishment or at least a piece of good fortune, though one that we feel humble about.
I will be back in touch with you soon.
New York University