As yet another Commencement season, we at NYU Stories are left wondering: Where does the time go?

This school year we talked eyeliner with top performers at NY(Drag)U, ate dosa and shot pool with new president Andy Hamilton, chatted with faculty members about what they'd wished they'd known when they were freshmen, and posed an existential question to anyone who'd answer.

Oh, and we stopped students on the street (twice!) to ask them to show off their unique style.

But if all that's not enough, here's a list of 16 more stories to remind you of all that's weird and wonderful about this place—a multimedia memento from the 2015-16 school year and a tribute to the kind of stuff that happens only at NYU.

Cheers, #NYU2016.



collage: 18th-century portrait of a woman with closeups on her face and arms

If there were dressmakers eager to cater to any-sized women almost a century ago, then why are so many women today unable to purchase the looks they prefer in the fit they need?



Parviz Tanavoli, widely regarded as Iran's foremost living sculptor and a longtime friend of NYU's Grey Art Gallery, describes the concept of the heech—a Persian word for "nothingness" and a motif that recurs in many of his well-known works.


collage: laptop with shapes of a megaphone, fist, and Twitter bird fashioned out of newsprint coming out of it

Researchers tracked 45 keywords (including the hashtagged names of 20 victims) to reveal how Twitter became an essential tool for activists in shaping the narrative on local police cases and protests. Their findings offer a counterpoint to previous arguments that social media activism only makes participants feel like they’re contributing, when they are actually doing little to further the cause out in the “real” world.


archival photo: three little girls sitting on a playground bench, two facing each other, one looking away

When Aija Mayrock heard about a California teen who committed suicide after being bullied the way she had, she started writing what would become The Survival Guide to Bullying: Written by a Teen. The book has since been picked up by Scholastic and published in six countries, catapulting its author into the limelight as an international advocate for bullying awareness, prevention, and education.



Thirty years ago, Kim Wyant played goalkeeper on the first ever U.S. national team. This fall, after NYU men's soccer coach Joe Behan had to resign for personal reasons, she became the only woman head coach of a men's team in all of college soccer.


illustration: Harriet Tubman's face on the 20 bill where Andrew Jackson would be

Tubman will be the first African-American and the first woman since Martha Washington’s 19th-century appearance on a silver certificate to grace our paper currency. She’s also someone we revere today, in part, for defying the profoundly unjust laws of her time. Will her presence on an everyday object change how (and how often) we think about slavery, and about the moral responsibilities of citizenship?


archival images of two women talking on telephone with speech bubbles

The fact is that pretty much everybody creaks, Davidson says. “In English we generally use it as an indication that we’re coming to the end of a sentence.” Then why are young women the ones being criticized for it? 


photo: Pope Francis waving

Pope Francis is something of a global rock star, a figure who’s garnered the attention, or at least the curiosity, of many around the world—non-Catholics, feminists, scientists—not otherwise in the habit of looking to the Vatican as a source of moral authority.  



French studies master's student Nawsheen let the NYU Stories crew follow her around on a typical (jam-packed) day—from her morning commute on the 1 train to class and work and beyond.  


collage: infinitely repeating image of the back of a man's head, other people look on

It’s not just that we haven’t agreed to having our personal information collected, it’s that the invisible processes of dossier building are so complex, and their consequences so difficult to predict, that it would be virtually impossible to understand exactly what we’re being asked to consent to. Whereas NSA snooping makes headlines, other forms of quiet surveillance go unnoticed (and unregulated), to the benefit of shadowy entities making bank in the data economy—or even police using software to calculate citizens’ threat “scores.”


collage: green fabric background with cartoon dollar sign and money bags in foreround

Wealth inequality is the rare issue driving conversations on both sides of the aisle this election season, with polls suggesting that a broad majority of Americans support the notion of taxing the rich at a higher rate. But history tells us that this is a task easier said than done. Politics Chair David Stasavage co-authors a new book that surveys two centuries of tax history to explain how warfare, sacrifice, and varying definitions of "fairness" play into decisions about who should pay more.


photo: headshot of Andrew Fernandez

In many schools, college prep and application support falls to a guidance counselor juggling multiple responsibilities. The average student to counselor ratio nationwide is 478 to 1, meaning that students receive an average of only 38 minutes of one-on-one advising before graduation. But with College Advising Corps advisers strictly dedicated to increasing college access for low-income students in underserved schools, 60% of students get to meet with a trained near-peer counselor five times or more. Aileen Moner, the College Advising Corps program director at NYU, estimates that each of the two dozen advisers she supervises has held between 250 and 300 one-on-one meetings so far this school year.


collage: archival images of girls' feet in white socks and black shoes with straps, coffee ring superimposed

Over a period of about two months during the winter of 1951-52, three separate planes approaching or leaving from Newark Airport crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey, killing a total of 119 people. One plane hit an apartment building; another skimmed the roof of a school. The unlucky town’s mayor dubbed the airport, which closed for several months in the wake of the accidents, “the umbrella of death.” Elizabeth native Judy Blume (STEINHARDT ’61) was 14 at the time, and her latest book revisits that trio of tragedies from her youth.


photo: students lined up across a stage in '90s garb performing 'RENT'

Before 50,000 fans hoping to win a digital lottery for $10 Hamilton tickets crashed the show’s website, before standing room at Book of Mormon, before Avenue Q’s foul-mouthed puppets gave cheerful voice to Gen X anxieties about sex, aging, and life’s purpose, there was another musical that powerfully captured the spirit of the times with its essential message about love and loss and what it meant to be alive a particular moment in our city’s—and our nation’s—history.


abstract collage of high-rise apartment buildings with colored shapes layered on top

The questions aren’t easy: If you find out your friend is having an affair, should you tell their spouse? Is it okay to lie to your dad about being gay so that he’ll keep paying for college? How much money is too much to spend on chemotherapy for your dog, when there’s so much suffering in the world? These are the types of quandaries on which NYU philosophy professor Kwame Anthony Appiah must opine each week as author of the popular Ethicist column in the New York Times magazine.


collage: AbrahNorman Lear (center) discussing his career with Tisch professor Dan Charnas (left) and Reggie Ossé, host of The Combat Jack Show. Photo by Joe Martinez Lincoln's face and black silouette of United States with red white and blue tears

Decades after Norman Lear’s hit sitcoms took over American living rooms, the legendary writer still insists that he didn’t set out to crusade for social justice or to revolutionize television when he created shows like All in the Family, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, and Maude: “The name of the game,” he says, “was to make an audience laugh.”