School News

Yesterday's Events on Gould Plaza

Dear Members of the Stern Community:

You are all likely aware of the events on Gould Plaza yesterday and have received President Linda Mills' letter (below) describing NYU's response to the event. The gathering created severe disruption to activities at Stern and caused some community members to feel unsafe; this was, in the end, the only way to find resolution.

I would like to reiterate the message in President Mills' email that intimidation or obstruction of our research or teaching mission in any way are utterly unacceptable at Stern or NYU. The right to protest is a cherished one, but its exercise cannot run counter to providing a safe learning environment for all students and members of the community.


Raghu Sundaram

Raghu Sundaram
Richard R. West Dean
Edward I. Altman Professor of Credit & Debt Markets
NYU Stern School of Business
Incoming Senior Vice-Chancellor and Head of Global Strategy 
New York University 


Date: April 22, 2024
To: The NYU Community
From: Linda G. Mills, President, and Fountain Walker, Vice President for Global Campus Safety

Early this morning, some 50 protesters began a demonstration on the plaza in front of the business school, known as Gould Plaza. This occurred without notice to the University, and without authorization. In response, the University immediately closed access to the plaza to maintain safety; we put barriers in place, and made clear that we were not going to allow additional protesters to join because the protests were already considerably disruptive of classes and other operations in schools around the plaza.

Nonetheless, we made no move to clear the plaza at that point because high among the University's aims was to avoid any escalation or violence. So, the University was deeply disturbed when, early this afternoon, additional protesters — many of whom we believe are not affiliated with the University — suddenly breached the barriers that had been put in place at the north side of the plaza and joined the others already on the plaza. The breach was in violation of directions from Campus Safety Officers and in violation of multiple University rules.

This development dramatically changed the situation. We witnessed disorderly, disruptive, and antagonizing behavior that interfered with the safety and security of our community, and that illustrated how quickly a demonstration can get out of control, raising the possibility of people getting hurt. At one point, we explained to the protesters that they needed to disband in an hour, and there would be no adverse consequences.

Nevertheless, many refused to leave. We also learned that there were intimidating chants and several antisemitic incidents reported. Given the foregoing and the safety issues raised by the breach, we asked for assistance from the NYPD. The police urged those on the plaza to leave peacefully, but ultimately made a number of arrests.

While academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas are and always will be bedrock principles on NYU’s campus, hate, disruption and intimidation can never be countenanced.