A Letter to Parents from NYU President Andrew Hamilton
Date: March 16, 2020
TO: NYU PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
FROM: President Andrew Hamilton
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Loved Ones,
You and your children—our students—are constantly at the front of my thoughts these days. As the COVID-19 virus has spread and government and public health authorities around the world have taken new, more aggressive steps at a swift pace, NYU has made sure that we are making decisions that keep the students safe and that maintain their academic progress. It is a matter of daily, high-level attention for us.
That is why I am writing you again so quickly after my last communication to you. In meetings over the weekend and early this morning, we have made some important decisions about which I want to update you.
Most prominently, we are directing the students to leave our New York campus' residence halls as soon as possible. Notwithstanding that this is spring break week, we are acting rapidly both to contribute to efforts to reduce the spread of the virus and to try to ensure that students are not affected by any domestic travel restrictions that might come.
Along with the decision to close the student residences, we have concluded that all classes will be remotely-held through the end of the spring semester.
I am enclosing the communication sent to the NYU community earlier today, which has greater detail.
In recent weeks, each time I have used the word "unprecedented"—as I did so recently with all of you—I find new reasons to use it again just a few days later. And that is the point, really—we are all experiencing something very new and unusual.
That is just the kind of situation that we believe a university education prepares us for: to bring together knowledge from disparate disciplines to aid us in thinking through a problem critically and effectively. That thesis is certainly being tested now. Our students, our faculty, and our administrators and staff have responded to these rapid turns of events with grit, resiliency, adaptability, and determination. The bonds we formed when we were all together on campus are sustaining us now, and I am certain that the people of NYU shall prove more than equal to the challenges ahead of us.
Please know we remain focused on and dedicated to your student's well-being and education.
Stay healthy and safe. And stay up to date on new developments concerning NYU's response to the coronavirus by visiting our coronavirus information and resource page.
Date: Monday, March 16, 2020
To: THE NYU COMMUNITY
From: NYU President Andrew Hamilton
We realize and appreciate how calmly and resiliently you have responded to the confoundingly fast changes brought about by COVID-19's spread; it has been a source of pride and has helped brace us. Against that backdrop of COVID-19's spread and health authorities' increasingly sweeping responses world-wide, we are constantly evaluating and adjusting NYU's own response. Today we are taking another important step to help safeguard your health and help check the virus' spread:
- Closing the student residences at our New York campus – students must be out by no later than March 22, and preferably within 48 hours – and directing all students to return home for the remainder of the semester.
- Continuing to hold all classes and examinations remotely through the semester's end.
How to Proceed with Packing up and Leaving Your Room
All students (except law school students, medical students, and students in the Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at NYU Langone Health), unless granted an exception for extraordinary circumstances, must leave their rooms in NYU housing by no later than next Sunday, March 22; we strongly urge students to leave earlier if possible. Virtually all dining facilities will also close as of that date.
- ALL STUDENTS IN STUDENT HOUSING IN NEW YORK must complete this survey. It is necessary to assist in your check-out and departure from housing.
- If you are a student in an NYU residence and are still on campus at this point, start the process of moving out immediately. We expect you to depart within 48 hours, as 1) it will help check any possible spread of the virus among our community and the New York City community, 2) there are growing discussions of domestic travel restrictions, and 3) it will help with the overall move-out effort.
- If you can take all your possessions with you, do so.
- If you are not able to take all your possessions with you, we ask that you pile your belongings in boxes in a corner of the room (we are making boxes available at no cost in the halls), along with an address form (which will be available near the boxes), so that we can ship them to the proper address.
- If you are already away for spring break and had planned on returning, you should do so as soon as possible to pack up your belongings, if possible within 48 hours (for the reasons cited above), and certainly no later than March 22, when the halls will close.
- If you are away and not able to return to campus before March 22 but you still have belongings in your room, please complete the survey in order to arrange for packing and shipping.
EXCEPTIONS TO LEAVING HOUSING: We recognize that there may be some students who have exceptional reasons that require them to stay in New York. Those seeking exceptions -- and the bar will be high -- should complete this survey in order to be considered for an exception. We can discuss what arrangements might be possible. Students who seek to remain should be aware that they will probably be asked to move to a different residence hall.
HOUSING AND MEAL-RELATED REFUNDS: Room and board costs will be pro-rated for the remainder of the semester for all students leaving campus. Additional information on calculating and processing refunds will be forthcoming.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: We realize this action prompts a number of questions, such as about the status of commencement and other ramifications. We will be following up on this communication soon to address those matters. At this point, for reasons of your health and to ensure the least restrictive freedom of movement, we want to focus on students moving out of housing as rapidly as possible.
Here are some information resources to help you with the move-out process:
- If the need to leave your residence hall raises unanticipated financial challenges, please complete this form to apply for emergency aid.
- If you are an international student and have questions, please contact the Office of Global Services.
- As noted above, if you have reason to seek an exception to moving out of NYU student housing, please fill out this form.
- If you have questions about the latest coronavirus-related NYU developments and status, including information about the presence of COVID-19 in the NYU community, please see our main coronavirus resource and information page.
Further Suspension of Classes at NYU Global Sites
In recent days, due to both local and international developments, we have communicated to students at all our remaining global Study Away sites that we are ending in-person classes at those sites, we are transitioning to remotely-held classes, and they should return home and finish their semester’s coursework from there.
Telework will Continue for NYU Administrators and Staff Until the End of the Semester
Remote telework, which began last week for most administrators and staff, will continue through the end of the semester.
Other Facilities and Programs That Are Closed in Addition to Student Housing
- All of NYU’s libraries are closed.
- NYU’s sports facilities are now closed.
- The winter and spring athletic seasons for NYU teams are cancelled.
- The NYU Bookstore will close its physical location; it can still be accessed online.
- The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts will be closed through May 10.
Once again, for the most up-to-date information on the status of University programs and facilities, for FAQs on many aspects of campus services and operations, and for information on the presence of the COVID-19 virus in the NYU community, please go to the University’s main coronavirus resources and information page.
Some Concluding Thoughts
Just a short while ago, it would have been difficult to imagine we would not be together in class or at campus activities again this semester. I am certain that, like me, each of you draws a great deal of energy and joy from the close presence of friends, classmates, and roommates.
But we shall still stay connected to one another, in spirit and through technology, as we carry on the work of teaching and learning and research remotely.
This semester has been unprecedented in so many ways. I think we all recognize that the challenges we are confronting will not be surmounted in some small number of days, but neither will they linger forever. For my own part, I look forward to the day when we can reassemble in person, and that the time till then will pass quickly, busily, and productively.
All of you are in my thoughts. Thank you for your flexibility and your grit. Stay safe and healthy. The University will be back in touch again soon.