The Purple Monster is at it again. Against the wishes of the majority of Village residents and the majority of NYU’s own faculty, the administration is planning a massive expansion in Greenwich Village: the 2031 plan – named after the year it will be completed. In response to this disturbing prospect, All in the Red teamed up with NYUFASP (NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan) and other community organizations to host a rally on October 20 in Washington Square Park and march through the planned construction zone. While NYU hosted a large alumni event that weekend, All in the Red and NYUFASB sought to inform students and teachers, Villagers and other New Yorkers what the administration has in store for Greenwich Village and NYU’s students, who upon graduation are already some of the most indebted in the nation. While allowing a space to voice serious discontent with the undemocratic policy of the NYU administration, the atmosphere of the event was festive, family-friendly, participatory, and welcoming to all who attended.
Speak-outs during the rally and march highlighted the numerous detrimental social, ecological, and economic effects the plan will have. The expansion, if allowed to continue, will flatten green spaces, including a children’s playground and a community garden, to build almost the equivalent of the Empire State Building in square footage in the heart of the Village. The administration is keeping all the finances secret but it is an open secret that this plan, which will cost into the billions of dollars, will be paid for by student debt, and will be a catastrophe of noise, dust, and rats for years to come. Most people do not want this, with the exception of the university president, John Sexton, a CEO-style university president who makes over one million dollars per year (and has a guaranteed retirement package of $800,000 per year for life), and the real estate moguls who pull Sexton’s strings. This whole plan costs too much, burdens students, and disregards the will of the majority of the people it will affect.