It is a tough time for most right now as the entire world has been flipped upside down. Everyone has had to make adjustments and sacrifices as society attempts to adapt to the current health emergency. As we all attempt to adhere to social distancing, more jobs have become remote, and college courses have either been canceled or gone online. However, if you paid a premium to attend an actual class and a university now offers an online course, that’s totally different than what you originally paid for. New York University students have asked to be reimbursed for the change of education. But the dean has responded in an extremely peculiar way.
Students at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts asked the administration for partial refunds because their courses have been changed to remote learning. Allyson Green, the dean of NYU Tisch, responded to the demands with an email that argued that virtual classes were actually costing the university “millions more.” Green added that the school is still paying for the New York City campus, despite not being able to use it during this quarantine time.
Then things got weird.
In the email, Dean Allyson Green also included a Vimeo link to a two minute and 16-second video where she dances and lip-syncs to R.E.M.’s Losing My Religion.
This has the same vibes as Buffalo Bill dancing to Goodbye Horses in Silence of the Lambs.
First off, big yikes on the cringe factor. Is there a competition as to who can be the most tone-deaf that I don’t know about?
Secondly, Vimeo? Really? Is that platform still working? Legitimate question: Who still uses Vimeo? Apparently, NYU deans.
Thirdly, R.E.M.? That song is from 1991, not quite the banger to relate to your Gen Z students. If you want to connect with your college students, release a TikTok video of you dancing to Megan Thee Stallion’s Savage. Lady, how out of touch are you with your students?
Dean Green attempted to justify her tone-deaf lip-sync video in the email.
“The focus of my career as a performer, choreographer, and dance educator, and my most authentic mode of expression, has always been dance,” Dean Green wrote. “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.”
After the dance video went viral, Dean Green responded.
“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,” Dean Green wrote. “I regret it if my email left the reasons for my dancing misunderstood – although I will note that I have also received many positive acknowledgments – but its intent was surely neither frivolous or disrespectful.”
Reminder, the NYU tuition for the 2019-2020 school year is $76,614.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time the NYU dean has responded to paramount issues by releasing a dance video. Two weeks ago, Green posted another Vimeo video (Enough with the Vimeo), where she offered tips and encouragement to students struggling with online learning by dancing to The Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun. That song selection is kinda hack. There are far more interesting Beatles songs.
What if all leaders responded to criticisms by releasing lip-sync videos?
Imagine if Mao Zedong was questioned about China’s Great Leap Forward movement that reportedly killed 45 million in four years, and he responded by releasing a video of him lip-syncing Elvis Pressley’s Love Me Tender. Or if Fidel Castro was pressed on his atrocious human rights record and he “clapped back” by recording a video of him covering Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys.