Sunday, April 06, 2008

On campus

When we at NYU call our friends to see if they're around, we ask them if they're "on campus." Which is a bit odd, since there is no campus. I always answer "yes" if I'm somewhere between Union Square and Houston; Spring Street and 23rd are ambiguous. Since NYU has buildings everywhere in Manhattan, you could safely answer "yes" from wherever you'd like.

On Friday I gave a paper at a grad workshop on North Africa at a euphemistically-denoted university in New Jersey. While I'd always thought of Princeton and the University of Chicago as exact opposites, this was not at all my impression seeing it from the perspective of a student at NYU. Both Princeton and Chicago have pretty and definite campuses. Both have wood-paneled rooms from which you can look out the window and see foliage. Both are being mocked, although probably more so Chicago, here.

The main difference with Princeton could well be their tendency to put "Princeton" on everything. The undergrads in Princeton gear, that's a given. The logo-bearing napkins, water bottles, and cups for said water were not so surprising. The presence of the university's name and official colors on the tongs used to pick up the sandwiches, that did surprise me. I've been trying to figure out which comes first, the putting-the-name-on-everything or the school pride. The U of C should consider going logo-crazy rather than altering the Core or building mega-gyms. It would be cheaper and perhaps more effective, and would not require changing anything fundamental about the place.


Anonymous said...

What color were the sandwiches?

Phoebe said...

Some were orange-ish, and the plates were sort of black...