Hold NYU Accountable: Terminate Avital Ronell’s Employment and Implement Institutional Reform
(full statement and list of demands here: https://tinyurl.com/TerminateRonell)

The Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC-UAW Local 2110), the union for graduate workers at NYU, strongly opposes the return of Avital Ronell, professor of Comparative Literature and German, who was found guilty in a Title IX investigation of verbal and physical sexual harassment of a graduate student. She is currently undergoing a one-year suspension and will return to her teaching and research duties in fall 2019.

As the union for graduate employees, we maintain that every student and employee of NYU has the right to work and learn free from the fear of harassment, discrimination, and abuse. NYU’s decision to continue Ronell’s employment constitutes an attack on survivors of sexual abuse and contributes to a hostile learning and working environment. The university already tacitly acknowledges this in making it a condition of Ronell’s return that her future meetings with students be supervised. Moreover, Ronell’s behavior is not isolated to this particular instance, but is part of a long-standing pattern of intimidation and misconduct, as testified by other students and faculty. We therefore call on NYU to enforce its policy “to maintain a safe learning, living, and working environment” and immediately terminate Avital Ronell’s employment.

NYU's handling of the case suggests that its stated commitment to diversity and inclusion is nothing more than tokenism in place of actual institutional reform. Allowing Ronell to to return to NYU demonstrates the university’s complicity in reproducing the structures that produce harassment and exclusion. Also troubling was NYU’s silence regarding a disinformation campaign against Ronell’s accuser in which many prominent scholars, including NYU professors, signed a letter defending Ronell solely based on her scholarly reputation and slandered her accuser’s claims as being motivated by malicious intent. This letter and NYU’s failure to respond to it further highlight the power imbalance between advisors and graduate students, and the barriers that prevent reporting instances of misconduct and being taken seriously.

The conditions that enabled Ronell’s misconduct are the same institutional conditions that enable all injustice and hostility based on ability, race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, or nationality. We stand in solidarity with other ongoing struggles within NYU, such as the recent mobilizations against institutional racism at Silver, that seek to transform the university into a more equitable and just place for all of its students and employees. We call on NYU to step forward as a leader among its peer institutions by appropriately responding to findings of misconduct and building an academic environment free from harassment and discrimination
(full statement and list of demands here: https://tinyurl.com/TerminateRonell)

We the undersigned demand that NYU:


1) Cancel Professor Ronell’s Fall 2019 course and terminate her employment at the university.

2) Ensure transparency and consistency regarding Title IX proceedings, and that those found guilty of misconduct face consequences commensurate with the offense.

3) Publish an annual report providing information and statistics on all Title IX complaints for the academic year, including NYU’s responses to those complaints.


4) Establish a restorative justice option for addressing sexual misconduct, requiring the hiring of at least two highly trained facilitators.

5) Establish an anonymous reporting option for all forms of misconduct, including racial discrimination, gender discrimination, sexual misconduct, and threat of retaliation.

6) Significantly increase funding to NYU’s S.P.A.C.E. (Sexual Misconduct Prevention, Assistance, Counseling, and Education) to streamline and expand the resources available to the NYU community.


7) Implement regular, in-person, rigorous trainings for faculty, staff, and students across the university focusing on anti-harassment, sexual respect, racial sensitivity, and bystander intervention.

8) Prioritize the hiring and retention of faculty from underrepresented groups, ensure holistic race-conscious admissions processes, and increase need-based financial aid opportunities.

9) Take steps to diffuse and reinvent the power structures within academia that currently give tenured faculty and administrators undue power over graduate students.

In Solidarity,
Graduate Student Organizing Committee - UAW Local 2110

(signee affiliation is NYU, unless otherwise indicated),

Mohammed Abdelaziz, Graduate Student, Physics, 3rd Year
Mel Abler, Graduate Student, Columbia University, Applied Physics 5th year
Sebastián Alarcón, Undergraduate Student, UGF&TV / Comparative Literature 2019
Marta Aleksandrowicz, Graduate Student, SUNY Buffalo, Comparative Literature
Sofia Aletta, Graduate Student, Anthropology- MA
Anayvelyse Allen-Mossman, Columbia University Graduate Student, Columbia University, Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Lauren Altman, Graduate Student, Physics year 2
Disi An, Graduate Student, Biology
Lauren Apple, Graduate Student, The Centeal European University, Gender Studies 2013
Carlos Arellano, Staff, Biology Department, staff
Varnica Arora, Graduate Student, CUNY, Psychology- year 1
Andrew Ashley, Graduate Student, Anthropology
Krithika Ashok, Graduate Student, University of Chicago, Law School
Grace Avecilla, Graduate Student, NYU, Biology, 3rd year
salma shamel bakr, Graduate Student, MCC 2017
Thomas Baldwin, Graduate Student, Hunter College, Art and Art History
Hyoju Ban, Graduate Student, Biology, 2019
Elizabeth Banks, Graduate Student
Derek Baron, Graduate Student, GSAS Music / 3rd year
Colleen Baublitz, Graduate Student, Columbia University, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Melanie Bavaria, Graduate Student, History
Evan Behrle, Graduate Student, Philosophy, 1st
Gavin Beinart-Smollan, Graduate Student, HJS/History
Robert Bell, Graduate Student, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, 3rd Year PhD
Daniel Blatter, Graduate Student, Columbia University, Earth and Environmental Science, 4th year
Hagen Blix, Graduate Student, Linguistics, 3
Emily Boeke, Graduate Student, Psychology
Alex Boodrookas, Graduate Student, History and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies
Caroline Bowman, Graduate Student, Philosophy, 3rd year PhD
Andrew Bowman, Graduate Student, University of Illinois, English - Writing Studies (2nd-year PhD Student)
Tierney Brown, Graduate Student
Eliza Brown, Graduate Student, Sociology
Jordan Budd, Alumni, Gallatin ‘12
Sarah Burris, Undergraduate Student, Johns Hopkins, Biomedical Engineering 2020
Jason Cao, Graduate Student, Physics department, forth year
Nuala Caomhanach, Graduate Student, History: 3rd year
Daphne Carr, Graduate Student, Music, rising 4th
David Catchpole, Graduate Student, Music
Lila Chambers, Graduate Student, History 2015
Carson Chan, Graduate Student, Princeton, Architecture 2021
Paresh Chandra, Graduate Student, Princeton University, Comparative Literature, 3 year
Bhumika Chauhan, Graduate Student, NYU, Sociology, 3rd year
Adela Chelminski, Undergraduate Student, Sciences Po Paris, 3rd year
Chang Chen, Graduate Student, Physics, 4th year
Belle Cheves, Graduate Student, Harvard, History and Middle Eastern Studies, 5th year
Swati Chintala, Graduate Student, Sociology 2016
Esther Choo, Graduate Student, Anthropology
Andrea Long Chu, Graduate Student, Comparative Literature, 6th year
shina chua, Graduate Student, Philosophy
Nir Cohen, Graduate Student, Music
Jasper Conner, Graduate Student, College of William and Mary, History 2nd Year
Emilie Connolly, Graduate Student, History, 7th year
Luis A Cordova, Staff
Maximilien Courgeon, Graduate Student, Biology
Emma Shaw Crane, Graduate Student, Social & Cultural Analysis, 5th Year
Ned Crowley, Graduate Student, Sociology
Zachary D Cuyler, Graduate Student, History/MEIS, 2021
Sarah D'Adamo, Graduate Student, McMaster University, English & Cultural Studies, 7
Kevin DallaSanta, Graduate Student
Lili Dao, Graduate Student, Sociology
Kathryn David, Graduate Student, History
James deBoer, Graduate Student, Law '21
Samuel Dinger, Graduate Student, Sociology
Jack Donahue, Graduate Student, Physics, 2022
Wenjing Dong, Graduate Student, Courant institue of Mathematical Sciences
Sumati Dwivedi, Graduate Student, Columbia University, English & Comparative Literature
Eskil Elling, Graduate Student, Northwestern, Philosophy, 2nd year
Sevinc Ercan, Faculty, Biology
Iraj Eshghi, Graduate Student, Physics
Jeannette Estruth, Alumni, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2018
Brian Fairley, Graduate Student, GSAS Music 2nd year PhD
Nick Feng, Graduate Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering first year PhD student
Beth Nicole Fowler, Faculty, Wayne State University, History, 2014
Miriam Frank, Retired Faculty & Alumna
Patrick W. Gallagher, PhD Alum, NYU-GSAS Comp Lit '12; Fmr. Organizer/Local 2110 Guide, Comparative Literature 2012
Suroor Gandhi, Graduate Student, Physics, 1st year
Ellis Garey, Graduate Student, History and MEIS (second year)
David Padilla Garza, Graduate Student
Khemani Gibson, Graduate Student, History, 6th year PhD Candidate
Iliana Gioulatou, Graduate Student, Philosophy, 3rd year PhD student
Milo Giovanniello, Graduate Student, school of social work, 2022
Susannah Glickman, Graduate Student, Columbia, History, 3
Nelson Gomez, Undergraduate Student, Columbia University, Computer Science '19
Adriana Gonzalez, Alumni, Johns Hopkins University, Biomedical Engineering; First year
Jannia M. Gómez González, Graduate Student, Princeton, Spanish and Portuguese G2
Shahrzad Goudarzi, Graduate Student, Psychology, 3rd year
Courtney Graves, Graduate Student, Kevorkian Center, 2019
Victoria N Grubbs, Graduate Student, NYU, MCC 5th Year PhD
Aman Gupta, Graduate Student, Mathematics, 5th Year
Jad Mahmoud Halabi, Graduate Student, Chemistry 2nd
Jacob Hamer, Graduate Student, Johns Hopkins University, Physics and Astronomy
Isaac Hand, Graduate Student, MEIS/History
Aditya Hardikar, Graduate Student, Physics 1st year
Katie Hayden, Graduate Student, Wagner 2nd year
Jonna Heldrich, Graduate Student
Nathaniel Herter, Graduate Student, Harvard University, Department of the Classics, G3
Daniel Hoek, Graduate Student, Philosophy
Mark Hoffarth, Postdoc, Psychology
Lisa Hofmann-Kuroda, Postdoc, Harvard, Reischauer Institute, 2019
Anne Hollmuller, Graduate Student, History/IFS, First year
Shanna Howard, Graduate Student, UC Santa Cruz, METX 2020
Marie-Christine Hyland, Graduate Student, English PhD 2019
Dylan Iannitelli, Graduate Student, Biology 4th year
Cara Ryan Idriss, Graduate Student, Anthropology, entered 2017
Helen Hazelwood Isaac, Graduate Student, History, 3rd year PhD Candidate
Heba Islam, Graduate Student, Johns Hopkins University, Anthropology, PhD student
Paloma J., Graduate Student, linguistics, 4th year
Oliver Janssen, Graduate Student, Physics, 5
Denish Jaswal, Graduate Student, Harvard, Philosophy, 1st year
Ragini Jha, Graduate Student, UMass Amherst
Brendan Collins Jordan, Graduate Student, History Department, Third Year
Daniel Joslyn, Graduate Student, History, 2021
David Kanbergs, Graduate Student
Anirban Karak, Graduate Student
Sam P. Kellogg, Graduate Student, MCC, 1st Year
Paul Kershaw, Former PhD Student, History, 2014
Leela Khanna, Graduate Student, Anthropology- 2nd year
Elsy El Khoury, Graduate Student
Ki Young Kim, Graduate Student, Columbia, Political Science, 3rd year
Elias Kleinbock, Graduate Student, Princeton University, Comparative Literature, G4
Harris Kornstein, Graduate Student, Media, Culture, and Communication, PhD candidate
Erini Lambrides, Graduate Student, Johns Hopkins University, Physics and Astronomy
Virgilio Urbina Lazardi, Graduate Student, Sociology, 2nd-Year
Tommy Lazarou, Graduate Student, Chemistry, 2022
Shimrit Lee, Graduate Student, Middle East and Islamic Studies, 2019
Michelle Lee, Graduate Student, Department of Psychology, Class of 2023
Sungmey Lee, Graduate Student, Johns Hopkins University, English 6th
Hannah Leffingwell, Graduate Student, French Studies, 3rd year
Melissa Lefkowitz, Graduate Student, Anthropology 2021
Victor Leon, Graduate Student, Biology 2nd year
Marena Lin, Ph.D. 2019, HGSU-UAW organizer, Harvard University, Earth and Planetary Sciences
Clara Lingle, Graduate Student, Philosophy, 2nd year
Margaret Linhart, Undergraduate Student, Johns Hopkins University, Political Science, 2021
John Linstrom, Graduate Student, English, 5
Di Liu, Graduate Student, 6
Dou Liu, Graduate Student, Physics 2015
Joseph Livesey, Graduate Student, Anthropology, 7
Alexa Logush, Graduate Student, History, 2nd year
Jessica Lopez-Espino, Graduate Student, Anthropology
Jack Lundquist, Past unit rep, tandon, CUSP 2018
Zoe N Lye, Graduate Student, Biology
Mone Makkawi, Graduate Student, MEIS, 3rd year
Amita Manghnani, Staff, Asian/Pacific/American Institute; NYU History Department MA 2011
Emma Maniere, Graduate Student, History, 2nd Year
Nicholas Mark, Graduate Student, Sociology 2021
Schuyler Marquez, Graduate Student, Anthropology
Annette Martin, Graduate Student, Philosophy, 5th year
Annette Martin, Graduate Student, Philosophy, 5th year
Ananda Martin-Caughey, Graduate Student, Sociology
Umberto Mazzei, Graduate Student, Columbia University, Italian 5th year
Esteban O Mazzoni, Faculty, Biology
austin mcdowell, Graduate Student, physics, 3
Kate McIntyre, Graduate Student, Columbia University, English, 2020
Benjamin McKenna, Graduate Student, Mathematics, 3rd Year
Paul McNulty, Graduate Student, Physics, 3rd year PhD
Erik Meddles, Graduate Student, History - 7th Year
Ariel Melamedoff, Graduate Student, Philosophy, 1st year of PhD
Shayan Momin, Graduate Student, Anthropology
Shaina Morris, Friend of student, Johns Hopkins University, Junior; Applied Mathematics
Natasha Morse, Graduate Student, Biology, 4th year
suneela mubayi, independent scholar, NYU PhD alum, MEIS class of 2018
William Mullaney, Graduate Student, Princeton, Comp Lit, G2
Marco Muzio, Graduate Student, Physics 2021
Christina Nelson, Graduate Student, Sociology
Brock Nelson, Graduate Student, Chemistry 2018
Chris Nickell, Graduate Student, Music, 6th Year
Michelle Esther O'Brien, Graduate Student, Sociology
Kelley O'Dell, NYU MA Alumnus, The New School, Anthropology, currently graduating MA
Andres Olan-Vazquez, Graduate Student, Anthropology 2nd Year
Ayesha Omer, Graduate Student, Media, Culture, and Communication, 5th Year
Anastasiya Osipova, Faculty
Sara Partridge, Graduate Student, GSAS 2020
Anne Pasek, Graduate Student, MCC, Year 5
Max Paukner, Graduate Student, GSAS chemistry, first year
Colette Perold, Graduate Student, Media, Culture, and Communication
Paulina Pineda, Graduate Student, Princeton, G2
Sarina Porcella, Graduate Student, Biology 5th
Angelica Puzio, Graduate Student, Applied Psychology, 3rd Year
Ramin Rahni, Graduate Student
Sharon Ramati, Graduate Student, Chemistry 2018
Kushan Ratnayake, Alum, Johns Hopkins University, Mechanical Engineering 2018
Jennifer Lauren Ray, Graduate Student, Social Psychology 2017
Vishal Reddy, Graduate Student, NYU Law '21
Hannah Rice, Graduate Student, Yale, Spanish, 2020
Zach Rivers, Graduate Student, Comparative Literature, 6th year
Javier Robledo, Graduate Student, Physics 2023
Eva Rosenfeld, Undergraduate Student, Harvard University, Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, second year
Jared Sacks, Graduate Student, Columbia University, MESAAS
Maggie Sager, Graduate Student, MEIS
Salvador Vargas Salfate, Graduate Student, GSAS (master in Psych) 2018-2020
Michael Salgarolo, Graduate Student, History
Alejandro Naranjo Sandoval, Graduate Student, Princeton, Philosophy G4
Sonica Saraf, Staff
Federica Sartori, Graduate Student, biology 2
Tobias Schraink, Graduate Student
Eva Schreiner, Graduate Student, Columbia University, Architecture History, 4th year
saumya sethia, Graduate Student, Delhi University, English, 2019
Daniel Sharp, Graduate Student, Philosophy
Adelaida Shelley, Alumni
Niyati Shenoy, Graduate Student, Columbia University
Cicely Shillingford, Graduate Student, Chemistry, 4th year graduate
Matt Shutzer, Graduate Student, History, 2012
Yuvraj Singh, Graduate Student, Chemistry 2018
Sarah Sklaw, Graduate Student, History - Candidate
Stephen Small, Faculty, Biology
Laura Smith, Graduate Student, University of Tennessee
Lindsey Solomon, Alumni, MCC 2013
Becca Sosa, Undergraduate Student, Johns Hopkins University, Biology 2021
Amelia Spooner, Graduate Student, Columbia University, History (3rd-yr PhD)
Gavin Stewart, Graduate Student, Mathematics Y3
Kate Storey-Fisher, Graduate Student, Physics, 2nd Year
Zachary Sustiel, Graduate Student
Augusta Thomson, Graduate Student, Anthropology, 2021
Sean Toland, Graduate Student, Princeton, German
Madi Torrez, Undergraduate Student, Johns Hopkins, Psychology, 2020
Jennifer Trowbridge, Graduate Student, Anthropology
Arianne Sedef Urus, Graduate Student, History
Timothy Valshtein, Graduate Student, Psychology, 3rd year
Christopher VanDemark, Graduate Student, GSAS 2021
Colin Vanderburg, Graduate Student, English, 1st year PhD
Jennifer Varela, Graduate Student, MEIS, 2019
Troy Vettese, Graduate Student, GSAS 2013
Karyn Vilbig, Graduate Student, Sociology
Digvijay Wadekar, Graduate Student, 4th year Physics
Dominic Walker, Graduate Student, Columbia University, Sociology
Han Wang, Graduate Student, Department of Mathematics, fourth year
Sally Weathers, Graduate Student, Comparative Literature, 3
Peter Whitney, Graduate Student, Biology 3rd year
Megan Wiessner, Graduate Student, MCC PhD
Lauren Wilfong, NYU Law Student, Law School 2021
Jordan Wilson, Graduate Student
Maya Wind, Graduate Student, SCA
Zavier Wingham, Graduate Student, History/MEIS (Entered: Fall, 2017)
Lauren K. Wolfe, Graduate Student, Comparative Literature, 6th year
Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, Alumna: CAS Class of 2005; GSAS Class of 2006, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, NYU degrees: Sociology BA, 2005; Philosophy MA, 2006
Xingchen Xu, Graduate Student, NYU, Physics, 4th year Grad student
Qi Xu, Graduate Student, Psychology (graduate this May)
Akihiro Yamaguchi, Graduate Student
Shengqi Yang, Graduate Student, Physics 2016
Daniel Brinkerhoff Young, Graduate Student, Philosophy
Gabriel Young, Graduate Student, History and MEIS, 2nd-year
Ege Yumusak, Graduate Student, Harvard, Philosophy 2017
Helen Zhao, Graduate Student, Columbia, Philosophy, 2nd
Anonymous, Graduate Student, Physics
Shaneela, Graduate Student, Chemistry
#JHToo, Campus activist organization, Johns Hopkins University

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