Hamilton talks about wearing a mask, Ukraine, the safety of students in the town hall – Washington Square News

New York University President Andrew Hamilton answered questions about wearing a mask, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, security on campus and more at a town hall meeting on Thursday, March 3rd. The moderator of the virtual event was the chairman of the Student Government Assembly Merin Ali.

On COVID-19 and wearing a mask

When will indoor Is the mandate for the mask canceled at New York University?

Carlo Chatoli, head of the prevention and response team at New York University’s COVID-19, said the university will evaluate its mandate for indoor masks after the spring break. He said COVID-19 cases will be tracked as students, faculty and staff leave campus and return in the coming weeks.

“We are moving towards its removal, but we have not yet fully achieved it,” Chiotoli said.

Chiotoli said New York University’s next step in weakening the COVID-19 guidelines will allow students to eat at club meetings and events. Current NYU event guidelines require participants to be in masks.

Gov. Katie Hochul has revoked New York State’s mask mandate schools on Wednesday, March 2, as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. School districts can choose make wearing a mask optional. According to Mayor Eric Adams, New York will decide on the mask mandates for schools on Friday, March 4th.

While Chiotoli said the university may revoke the mandate in the future, Hamilton said wearing a mask could become common practice in the United States.

“I’m pretty sure the masks will be with us in New York and New York for a very long time to come,” Hamilton said. “Long before the pandemic across Japan it was very common to see people in masks in the subway.”

Some New York universities have already announced plans to cancel mandates for indoor masks. Ithaca College will be finish your mask mandate on Friday, March 4th. Columbia University has announced it the term ends March 14.

Ciotoli has encouraged students with reduced immunity to continue wearing masks if New York University’s mandate for masks is revoked.

“I just want to emphasize that depriving you of a mask mandate does not mean we are telling everyone that you should stop wearing masks,” Chiotoli said. “I strongly encourage people to continue wearing masks.”

Chiotoli said the Daily Screener is still working to document the vaccine’s mandate under the The New York Hero Act. The law, which expires on March 17, requires employees to be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.

About students affected by the Russian invasion

How does NYU respond to students affected by the invasion?

Hamilton said that Russian invasion Ukraine has encouraged New York University to support members of the community who have been directly affected by the crisis. He said that 226 Russian students and 57 Ukrainian students study at all New York University websites.

“This is a terrible situation that is unfolding in Ukraine,” Hamilton said. “This is something that affects everyone around the world. But it particularly affects a global university like New York University with a very international community of students, faculty and staff. ”

Hamilton said several academic organizations, including the Alliance of Presidents for Higher Education and Immigration and the Association of American Universities, are asking the federal government to help Ukrainian students living in the United States. Organizations are calling temporary status protectionthat will allow students whose home country is considered unsafe to live temporarily in the United States.

“As an institution, we are ready to help our Ukrainian counterparts in Ukraine, our students and scholars from there, with financial support, give them the opportunity to continue working at New York University, as other universities in different parts of the United States will do. States, ”Hamilton said.

Josh Taylor, deputy vice chancellor of the Office of Global Services, has expressed concern among many Russian students that they have become a target for students and faculty because of the invasion. Taylor opposed the comments – including congressman’s remarks Eric Swalwell (California) on CNN – suggests that the United States should expel Russian students as revenge against Putin.

Taylor said the Global Services Bureau will be ready to work with students to ensure they can return home if flights to Russia become harder to find.

“It is very important for all of us to remember that we should not assume that nationality means that there is automatic support for action taken by the government,” Taylor said.

How will the university financially support students struggling with the crisis?

Ali discussed the concerns of Russian students who have lost access to their bank accounts and are unsure of how they will pay for tuition and cover other expenses. MJ Knoll-Finn, senior vice president of student enrollment and achievement management, said the university is preparing to meet the financial needs of Ukrainian and Russian students.

“We have not seen a significant increase in the number of our Ukrainian and Russian students still coming to us for financial aid, but we are ready,” said Noll-Finn. make sure students have the means when the need arises. ”

Knoll-Finn said the fund is similar to New York Emergency Relief Fund, will allow the university to quickly distribute assistance and resources among students who may be in need. According to Taylor, the Office of Global Services also did not see a surge in requests from students for help leaving Ukraine, but he expects this to change in the coming months.

On-campus security for students

What is New York University doing in response to recent hate crimes on campus?

Last month were several reports of attacks and a swastika found in NYU. Hamilton said there has been an alarming surge in hate crimes against Asian students.

“We are in the heart of a big city with a very complex and diverse community,” Hamilton said. “As I said, we take them very seriously, but of course these are situations that cannot be resolved by any act or office.”

Head of Campus Security Fountain Walker explained in detail how the department will be set up more security cameras east of Washington Square Park, add lighting on the scaffolding of university buildings and increase police presence around university buildings. This plan was also set out in an email to the university community on March 2nd.

“Just understand that even with training we need time to get them where we need to be,” Walker said. “Ultimately, their responsibilities do not lie in mental health or environmental and safety issues. It is true that you, the victim, are in such a position that you can get the necessary help as soon as possible. “

Patty McStein, Senior Vice President and Vice President of Global Campus Safety, shared her plans focus on expanding communication with students. McStein hopes to allow students to share their ideas on campus safety at the department and set up a student group to support victims.

“I really focus on having a holistic, empathetic response to our students when they are going through traumatic events, to restore the confidence of our students and our community in the Campus Security Department, and to support students experiencing difficult situations, incidents of violence,” Said McStein.

Lisa Coleman, senior vice president of global inclusion and strategic innovation, said New York University’s Counseling and Rehabilitation Service recently hired a staff consultant to work with color students. The Athletics Department will also continue to hold personal events self-defense classes.

What is the process of communication from the moment of the incident until the students hear about it?

Jason Pina, vice president of university life and global engagement, discussed New York University’s plans to improve security communications on campus between students and administration. The university plans to expand small group meetings and workspaces for students.

“We’ve heard from our students that an important part of reviewing our current reporting mechanisms is to make sure our students know exactly what the most direct and easy ways to communicate in emergencies are,” Pina said.

The New York University campus incident reporting system is compliant The Clergy Actfederal law that defines the types of crimes that universities must report to students. Listed crimes this act includes murder, manslaughter, robbery, aggravated assault, rape and more. Because the living quarters near Union Square and lower Manhattan are not within the Washington Square campus of New York University, they are exempt from the Claire Act.

“If we have enough information that says, ‘Yes, these are incidents that pose a long-term threat, whether they correspond to a strict geography or a strict definition of a crime,’ we will send [an alert] “, said Roberto Pineda Sanchez, Senior Compliance Analyst at Campus Safety.

Sanchez said Campus Safety is also responsible for offenses related to alcohol, drugs and weapons, violence against women and incidents with bias.

“Many universities in the United States have their own armed police forces sworn in,” Hamilton said. “New York University, in its proper wisdom, decided it wasn’t for him. We have a security organization on campus that has a very challenging job. It’s especially difficult because they don’t have the authority. “

Contact Kayla Hardersen and Hafsa Safdar on [email protected]

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