TO: NYU Students

FROM: Martin Dorph, Executive Vice President

DATE: August 31, 2020

In the time of COVID-19, even the most routine campus practices have to be rethought. This includes how and where students should find a place to sit on campus to study, participate in a remote class, read between classes, or simply have a place to take a break.

For fall 2020, in line with our safety and health practices, we are introducing a seat reservation system that will enable students to find and secure a place to sit to study or participate in a remote class while also keeping each other safe. We will also continue to have other, non-reserved spaces and seats.

Key Take-aways

  • NYU has established student seating spaces on campus and nearby, along with a seating reservation system through the NYU Mobile app (Apple and Android). There are two main types of reservable spaces:
    • Remote Learning Spaces, where students can participate in remote classes
    • Study Spaces, for quiet study
  • Features of the reservable Remote Learning and Study spaces include:
    • Students can reserve building, room, and seat location;
    • Wireless connectivity;
    • Tables and chairs or tablet arms;
    • Required compliance with NYU health & safety protocols;
    • Remote Learning spaces will be staffed with Public Health Ambassadors
  • The seat reservation system goes live on Tuesday, September 1

Reserved Spaces: Remote Learning Spaces and Study Spaces

We have established two types of reservable seating spaces to support students. Remote learning spaces are seating areas we have set aside to make it easy to participate in remote classes and where speaking at a low volume is permitted. Remote Learning spaces are meant to support students who have a remote class right before or after an in-person class, as well as for commuter students who cannot easily go back to their living space to take a remote class when on campus. The reservation system is being provided so that students can secure a place on campus to make that remote class on time. In essence, the Remote Learning space is a different type of classroom.

Study spaces are areas, both on campus and nearby in the neighborhood, for quiet study where talking is not permitted. The reservation app will also make it easier for students to plan study sessions before, after or in between classes.

Seats in remote learning spaces and study spaces must be reserved through the NYU Mobile app.

The inventory of seats will grow throughout the semester, and the app will be updated as new locations come online.

Some students' graduate programs and professional schools may have already set aside space for their exclusive use, and they should use that space instead.

Reserving a Seat for Yourself: The NYU Mobile App

We have built the new reservation function into the NYU Mobile app. It will be present in the app beginning Tuesday, September 1st; it can be used for reserving seats beginning Wednesday, September 2. This new function, which you will see alongside the Daily Screener function, will allow you to choose which type of seat serves you best, and where, when, and for how long you need it.

More information about the seat reservation function can be found on the NYU Returns web hub; detailed instructions on how to use it will be posted there soon. You can reserve seats up to two weeks in advance.

Many of the Remote Learning spaces will be located in the heart of the WSQ and Brooklyn campuses, convenient to many classrooms — Bobst Library, the Silver Center, 25 West 4th, Dibner Library, and 370 Jay St. among them. Study spaces will also be located in Bobst Library as well as in Kimmel, the Global Center for Student and Academic Life, and several classroom suites. In addition to spaces in University buildings, NYU has secured seats in nearby spaces in the neighborhood at local private establishments. To reserve a seat in these spaces, select “Neighborhood Spaces” in the NYU Mobile app and you will see the locations of various local cafes, restaurants, etc.

Rules and Etiquette for Reserved Spaces

  • Seat Reservation Etiquette
    • You must reserve a seat in Remote Learning or Study spaces. Make sure to use only the seat you have reserved to avoid confusion with other students.
    • If you do not intend to use your reservation, please cancel it so that the seat is available to another student.
    • If you have an asynchronous course or a synchronous course in which you are not expected to actively participate (such as a lecture), please reserve a Study Space seat in order to preserve Remote Learning Space seats for students who need to participate in class.
  • Space occupancy rules
    • All NYU health and safety protocols apply in all of the spaces listed above, including the requirement to wear a mask at all times and maintain safe social distancing; entry will require authorization through the NYU Daily Health Screener.
    • No eating or drinking in any reserved seating area. These are not spaces for eating meals. 
    • While you may fully participate by speaking in a Remote Learning space, you must use headphones, earbuds, or some device other than your computer’s speaker. Please be mindful of your speaking volume.

Non-Reservable Spaces: Study Spaces, Quick Stop Locations, and Printing Locations

We also have three types of spaces for which no reservation is needed: some unreserved Study spaces; several “Quick Stop” spaces where students can drop in to check texts, reorganize books and papers, or stuff a jacket in a bag; and Printing locations.

The unreserved Study spaces will be located in various places throughout campus traditionally used for study (Academic Resource Center and some seats in Bobst); we are leaving these to be available without a reservation since a student’s day can not always be fully planned out. Quick Stop spaces will also be familiar to many returning students as open areas in GCASL and Kimmel; Printing Spaces can be found through the NYU Mobile app.

All these spaces are available only on a first-come, first-served basis. Quick Stop spaces are intended to be used for a few moments only. While no reservation is required, please be mindful of the needs of other students.

In Conclusion

Keeping the NYU community safe while supporting teaching, learning and research in these challenging circumstances is our goal for academic year 2020-2021. It will require some new ways of doing things, some flexibility, cooperation with one another, and persistence, as with the student seat reservation system.

We appreciate your cooperation and your patience.

Questions? Email us at