A Call to Action in the Wake of World Tragedies

The words I gave at the Presidential Welcome were in the wake of the exhibition of white supremacy, US nativism, and Christian supremacy in Charlottesville, the destruction of Hurricane Harvey across the Caribbean and into the US South, and the escalating situation of the ethnic genocide of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. “See, the world is a mess, and not a single person you meet or will meet has a perfect solution. We seem to be stuck between an outbreak of wars both civil and otherwise, ongoing plagues of natural disasters with little to no aid sent, and an increasingly unstable economy and future. Hell, we all know that 20th century solutions aren’t going to fix 21st century problems.”

Since then, we’ve been faced with hurricanes, cyclones, flooding, earthquakes, and escalating civil and international strife on every continent and in every world region. We give thanks to Student Affairs for doing their best in sending messages of support to students from states, countries, or world regions affected by the ongoing disasters, but we as students have a special responsibility to our community.

We have worked with student affairs in creating a venmo account (@nyuresponds) and beginning to create a long term solution so that a standing fund specifically for the purpose of helping those affected by natural and humanitarian crisis will be maintained. We will be working over the course of the year in order to accrue centralized funds so that we can donate to local and community-centric organizations, or otherwise, that are transparent of where our donations go in helping the people affected. Current plans will be for the allocation of accrued funds to be determined exclusively in Student Government Assembly meetings where any member or community of the student body can come and express their beliefs for where the money should go. The plan is for us to be proactive in our desire to help the world, rather than reactive.