Volume 75, Number 19 | Sep. 28 - Oct. 04, 2005

Villager photo by Ramin Talaie

N.Y.U. President John Sexton with Tulane students at their orientation at N.Y.U. earlier this month.

N.Y.U. takes 100 Tulane students for fall semester

By Ramin Talaie

Among the many affected by Hurricane Katrina are hundreds of thousands of students who escaped the floodwaters and destruction on their campuses just as a new school year was starting.

Shortly after the magnitude of the disaster became apparent, universities and colleges around the nation began hosting programs to help displaced students from such schools as Tulane, Loyola, Xavier, University of Louisiana and University of New Orleans, allowing them to study at an adopted campus for the small semester.

New York University pitched in by taking 100 students from Tulane University.

John Sexton, N.Y.U.’s president, personally welcomed about 30 of the students and their parents during a special orientation program on Sept. 9.

These 100 students were accepted by N.Y.U. not by a lottery or a random process, but through a careful selective application process. The university, which has one of the largest applicant pools of any in the nation, wanted to make sure each student would be a good match with the school.

The students will not be charged tuition at N.Y.U., but they will have to pay for their own books and expenses. For students with financial hardship, N.Y.U. created a special program.

At the orientation, many of the school’s officials, from admissions officer to chief of security, warmly welcomed the students. Sexton encouraged the students to take advantage of their time in New York City and within the N.Y.U. community.

There are two courses N.Y.U. is giving first preference to the visiting Tulane students. One is a seminar taught by Sexton on the role of the Supreme Court and religion. Although the seminar is offered on Fridays, “not a favorite class day for any student,” Sexton jokingly acknowledged, he encouraged them to take it.

“I hope we have been able to soften the situation from where you come from,” Sexton told them. Yet, at the same time, he advised them not to see their stint in New York as a break but to take it seriously and get the most out of it.

It was emphasized to the students that they should not hesitate to call N.Y.U.’s Wellness Center for any help they may need. And Sexton — known for his trademark effusive bear hugs — encouraged everyone to approach him if they just need a hug.

Most of the students actually come from New York City and the tristate area. Many were not in New Orleans when Katrina hit.

N.Y.U. is accepting the displaced students through its Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and will be home to them until they are ready to go to New Orleans.

A bit of irony was not lost on the university’s admissions provost when she welcomed the students by saying, “I feel a sense of kinship with you,” because the building housing the admissions office had a flood three weeks ago.

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