The dean of NYU’s Tisch School Of The Arts is facing backlash after sending aggrieved students a video of her dancing to R.E.M’s ‘Losing My Relgion’ after they demanded a partial reimbursement of their $58,000 tuition.
Hundreds of NYU arts students demanded a partial tuition refund when spring classes were moved online amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The pandemic – which has killed 32,000 and infected 600,000 – resulted in universities across the U.S. scrambling to put lesson plans online as physical classes were cancelled.
Instead, Dean Allyson Green sent a video of her dancing in an email explaining that she doesn’t have the authority to reimburse tuition.
Allyson Green (pictured), dean of NYU’s Tisch School Of The Arts, send a video if her dancing to R.E.M’s ‘Losing My Religion’ to students
She added that it’s currently ‘challenging’ for schools to give students’ money back at the moment, NBC News reported.
Student Michael Price shared the video on Twitter, calling the response ’embarrassing’ and tone deaf.
‘The Dean of Tisch sent this as an attachment to the email saying they won’t give us our money back. Embarrassing,’ he wrote.
The video shows Green dancing in what appears to be an office space while mouthing the words of the song.
The video was included in Green’s (pictured) email response to arts students, saying they would not receive partial tuition refunds despite cancelling physical classes
Student Michael Price shared the video on Twitter and called Green’s actions ’embarrassing’
Price added: ‘This was not an accident, this was her sort of way of trying to reach out to the student body.
‘There’s a feeling amongst the students, Tisch specifically, that we are being cheated out of something, so everyone thought it was really ridiculous and tone deaf.
‘She’s not answering any of our questions and it’s just her dancing to “Losing my Religion.”
‘I am personally upset that we are being denied access to this equipment and facilities and still being charged the same amount for what is admittedly by the university a lower quality education.’
Eli Yurman wrote an open letter to Green (pictured) following the video’s release and asked ‘what the f*** is this?’
A year’s tuition at Tisch reportedly costs around $58,552 a year, which costs more than school’s $51,828 general tuition and is just under Columbia University’s $59,000 price tag.
Students have since taken to social media to blast Green for the video and one student, Eli Yurman, shared an open letter criticizing the video.
With the title ‘An Open Letter to Tisch Dean Allyson Green: Please Stop,’ Yurman wrote: ‘Students argue that remote classes cannot possibly serve as an adequate replacement for classes that necessitate a physical presence in the room (like acting classes, or dance classes, or film projects, or etcetera).
‘We here at NYU Local would just like to say: what the f*** is this? We get it. You’re stressed. It’s a stressful time. People are mad, a lot of them at you. But what the f*** are you doing?’
A petition has also been created by students to fight for tuition reimbursement. It has 3,500 signatures so far.
Green has since said the video was ‘misunderstood’ and the intent was never ‘frivolous’ or ‘disrespectful’ in a statement.
Green (pictured) said the dance video wasn’t meant to be ‘disrespectful’ or ‘frivolous’, and she regrets if it was taken in such a way
She wrote: ‘The focus of my career as a performer, choerographer, and dance educator, and my most authentic mode of expression, has always been dance. In the video, I shared the song with which I have welcomed first-year students to the Tisch School of the Arts for the past eight years.
‘It is a piece that — as I explained in the accompanying email — speaks to frustration and disappointment, and that helped see me through the loss of 30 friends to AIDS — another difficult period for artists
‘What I meant to demonstrate is my certainty that even with the unprecedented hardships of social distancing and remotely-held classes, it is still possible for the Tisch community to make art together, and that all the artists in our school will find ways to remain closely connected even as circumstances challenge us.’
Green (pictured): ‘What I meant to demonstrate is my certainty that even with the unprecedented hardships of social distancing and remotely-held classes, it is still possible for the Tisch community to make art together, and that all the artists in our school will find ways to remain closely connected even as circumstances challenge us’
Still, others continue to hit back at the video on and received national attention.
Actress Rachel Bloom, a Tisch School Of The Arts almuma, lambasted Green on Twitter.
‘Give students refunds now. As an alumnus, I am ashamed to say this is my Alma Mater. Stop buying up real estate and start treating your students and their parents with some respect and empathy,’ she wrote.
Actress Rachel Bloom, a Tisch School Of The Arts almuma, lambasted Green on Twitter and said she was ‘ashamed’ of her Alma Mater
Anna Drezen, an alumna and SNL writer, also hit back at NYU for not refunding students
Saturday Night Live write and alumna Anna Drezen also spoke out and advocated for partial refunds.
‘It’s already borderline immoral to take $80,000 a year from people in exchange for the promise of a career in pretending, but it’s very immoral when those pretending classes don’t even happen in person.
‘[NYUTischSchool] – do the least-worst thing and grant partial refunds.
The school has said refunds will not be given to students.
At least 222 people died of coronavirus on March 27 in New York City
In New York City alone, there are at least 30,765 confirmed coronavirus cases and around 672
The battle between students and Tisch administration as New York became a coronavirus epicenter in the U.S.
There are an estimated 53,399 cases and at least 827 deaths in the state. In New York City alone, there are a staggering 30,765 cases and 672 deaths.
On Sunday, Dr Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said that new coronavirus hotspots – including New Orleans and Detroit – could be worse than New York City.
‘Every metro area should assume that they will have an outbreak equivalent to New York,’ said Birx during a NBC News inverview.
Birx has said that the White House task force anticipates challenges in areas that have not yet seen widespread outbreaks.
She said the Trump administration is working hard to push supplies such as ventilators out to affected areas to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed – as many across the country are already complaining of dangerous shortages.
‘Hospitals are so busy taking care of the people who are ill, they can’t be spending time doing inventory,’ Birx said. ‘We need to help and support that.’
‘The sooner we react and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they have put in full mitigation … then we’ll be able to move forward,’ she added.
Trump announced Saturday that he may place a quarantine on New York due to its place as a coronavirus hotspot, but later settled for a travel advisory
On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor’s of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the [CDC] to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government,’ Trump tweeted on Saturday from the White House.
As of Saturday night, the United States has amassed 123,778 confirmed coronavirus cases and 2,164 citizens have died
Pictured: This graph shows the sudden spike in confirmed coronavirus cases that began mid-March
‘A quarantine will not be necessary. Full details will be released by CDC tonight. Thank you!’ he continued. On Saturday night, confirmed cases of coronavirus hit 123,788 and deaths surpassed 2,100 nationwide, with 672 deaths in New York City alone.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the advisory late on Saturday, saying: ‘Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.’
The advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, ‘including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply,’ the CDC said.
The agency said that the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will have ‘full discretion’ to implement the advisory.