Washington Square News

Spring Welcome Week Falls Short of Fall’s

By Emma Rudd, Deputy Opinion Editor

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This week marks the start of the spring semester and the relatively new Spring Welcome Week, which includes a variety of activities beginning on Jan. 23 and runs through the following four weeks. While Fall Welcome Week is an established NYU tradition, Spring Welcome Week was introduced in the spring of 2016 and includes over 200 events, which mirrors its fall counterpart. The plethora of performances, workshops and lectures provides a platform for students to mingle with peers and integrate themselves into the widespread, diverse culture of NYU. However, the overabundance and extravagance of these activities raises the question of value when considering their exorbitant costs.

The upcoming welcome week boasts an impressive list of marquee events, ranging from “So You Think NYU Can Dance” with judge Karla Garcia from the cast of “Hamilton” on Broadway to a screening of HBO’s “Girls” followed by a Q&A with cast members. In addition to the larger events, NYU provides small-scale attractions like workshops in “Networking 101” and workouts including “Yoga with Brian.” Although the numerous activities create a warm welcome and an exciting number of unique experiences, the quantity seems too great in light of increasing tuition and fee costs, rising to $71,000 this year.

The purpose of the lengthy welcome week is to “kick start the new semester,” but do students need over 200 events, spanning four weeks, to do so? When considering colleges in the surrounding area of New York, such as Columbia University and The New School, none have spring welcomes as grandiose as NYU’s, but rather smaller events targeted for new and transfer students. By contrast, NYU’s Spring Welcome Week is for all students, instead of being directly targeted to transfers or waitlisted freshmen. While this fact is exciting for most, students who are returning for the spring have already experienced an extremely similar series of events during Fall Welcome Week and are less likely to appreciate the activities that have been repeated.

In light of event repetition and small percentages of new and transfer students present during the spring semester, the excessive quantity of spring welcome activities seems unjustifiable. NYU’s campus is untraditional and more difficult to navigate, making the prospect of a second welcome during the spring engaging for some. Nevertheless, the extravagance and scale of the events is unnecessary. The high-profile marquee events, restaurant discounts and workshops of the spring welcome series are appealing, but when also considering the tremendous costs students are required to pay for them, they appear less necessary and more excessive.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Jan. 23 print edition. Email Emma Rudd at [email protected]

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1 Comment

One Response to “Spring Welcome Week Falls Short of Fall’s”

  1. Sarah Masiyiwa on January 24th, 2017 7:24 am

    Response to ‘Spring Welcome Week Falls Short of Falls’

    My name is Sarah, and I am one of the four Captain student leaders working with the Student Resource Center on this Spring Welcome. We came across your article highlighting some of your issues with Spring Welcome, and while I respect your opinions, I wanted to offer thoughts in response to some of your arguments. You don’t have to do anything with them, but seeing that Spring Welcome is so new, I think its important for us (i.e. the people running events) to address any misconceptions there may be within the student population.

    Firstly, Spring Welcome’s extravagance does not necessarily translate to ‘exorbitant costs’. The budget for Spring Welcome is significantly lower than Fall’s Welcome Week. For instance, NYU Restaurant Week doesn’t cost the university – it’s a promotional event for the restaurants. The HBO Screening of Girls did not cost the university either. Same thing with the Pop Up Vintage Shop, Artist & Fleas, and more. In fact, the Student Resource Center doesn’t spend much money on any of the Marquee events – most are actually opportunities for students to work and perform.

    And if you take a look at the Guidebook app, many of the small events are from different offices within the university, publicizing resources that are already offered on campus (e.g. Wasserman’s Career Fair, the Mindfulness Program’s Mindful Monday & yoga, campus tours, CMEP’S Carefree Black Women series, orientations, etc.). I would also point out that most of students working this events are volunteers, who are not paid but offer their time amidst classes and internships to help new students.

    The last thing I’ll say is less of an argument, and more ‘food for thought’. NYU prides itself in being a global university, inviting students from all over the country and the world onto its campuses. It is what makes our university unique. So no, schools like Columbia and The New School don’t have extravagant Spring Welcome events; but they also don’t open their doors to the magnitude of new students as NYU.

    And transfer and returning students are just two of the five populations targeted at Spring Welcome. We’re also targeting visiting students from other universities, and students from different NYU campuses (those who spent their first semester abroad and those from Abu Dhabi and Shanghai). All-in-all, there are almost 1,000 new undergraduates and many new graduate students coming onto our campus, all of whom are a part of the NYU community, and all of whom deserve to be welcomed.

    I hope this helpful in some way. If you ever need any information or comments on Spring Welcome or its events, myself, my fellow Captains and the SRC professional staff are always available – just let us know!

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