Editor's Note — This article is a contribution to The Gazelle's weekly satire column.
Bud Light, Class of 2020, recounted the events of last Thursday for The Gazelle. “I was hosting a little get-together with my friends to celebrate getting through our first month back at school. Yeah, sure, we dropped by Spinney’s and messaged people our room number out of context, but we didn’t expect things to get out of hand,” he said. “Everything was great until the freshmen showed up.”
After trying to make everyone leave to no avail, Light turned the music off and “kicked all the freshmen out.” The next morning, at 11 a.m. on Friday, he was accused of anti-freshmanism by Students for Justice in Residential College A2 — known on campus as SJA2 — due to his “hostile behavior towards the first-years.” SJA2’s Facebook post read, “Someone must’ve forgotten they too were once a freshman. Shame.”
The accusation has since divided campus, with students fighting on the NYUAD Forum Facebook group about whether or not potentially discriminatory statements made about the freshmen constitute anti-freshmanism.
Some students advocated for the removal of any and all anti-freshmanist remarks from NYUAD’s public discourse. Marsha Mellow, Class of 2021, commented, “It’s problematic… Why is it problematic? Because it constitutes a problem. What problem? I actually don’t have an argument, but I don’t like it and it sounds bad.”
Sue You, Class of 2022, argued, “I think it’s time we address this deep-rooted problem in our community of anti-freshmanism. Did you know the Convenience Store carries upperclassmen look-alike Halloween costumes? Appalling.”
Hamlet Bean, a part of NYUAD’s Student Government asked, “Is there anything the Diversity Committee can do about this?”
His comment received mixed reactions, with students mostly confused about what the Diversity Committee is.
Sara Al Kamal, Class of 2021, added, “If anything, Student Government should start an upperclassmen support group for when we enter the Dining Hall and can’t see a face we recognize. It’s anxiety-inducing.”
Meanwhile, some students argued that hating on freshmen is just a part of university life. Henry Sharts, Class of 2020, added, “Look, I am not an anti-freshmanist. I even have a freshman friend. When my roommate was dating a freshman for a couple weeks, I supported it completely. You hate the freshmen, then they become upperclassmen and hate the new freshmen. It’s the circle of life.”
However, some students had stronger feelings about the issue. Andrew Boyçott argued, “They’re taking away our student assistantships. This school’s resources are being wasted on them. Study-aways and J-terms are being taken away from the upperclassmen to make space and money for the abnormally large Class of 2022. This isn’t what John Sexton built this university for.”
Headup H. Isass, Class of 2020, added, “I am a Junior who has done Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi with a trip J-Terms, but I didn’t get an away J-term for this year. Why? Because of the freshmen. Some might say it’s because I only put two Sydney J-terms and the rest of my choices were all Abu Dhabi. But I know the truth: it’s the freshmen.”
Some members of the NYUAD community were neutral on the issue. When approached for a comment about the freshmen, Allie Viate, Class of 2019, commented, “Freshmen? The word doesn’t mean anything to me. All the underclassmen are the same.”
Jim Sexyton started, “The freshmen, sorry the freshwomen, the freshmen and women, the freshgirlsguyandeverythinginbetween, uh… First-years, yeah, first-years…”
Light’s Facebook presence has since taken a huge hit. “People stopped liking my Facebook comments. Everyone thinks I am an anti-freshmanist. This is worse than studying away in Tel Aviv. Actually, it’s even worse than being a Trump supporter on campus. My reputation is ruined.”
According to Susan Jess Warrior, SJA2’s president, Light got what he deserved. “Everyone needs to be reminded that this campus doesn’t tolerate anti-freshmanism or anything of that sort. This acts as a necessary warning for everyone.”
“Look, I am crying my best,” concluded Light. “Wait, did I say “crying?” I meant “trying,” I am trying my best.”
Serra Okumus is Copy Editor. Email her at email@example.com.