The position of the author, Mouchka, is that Yeshiva University is a sad and horrifying place because it has times that it closes its doors on the students and the aforementioned students are forced to fend for themselves.
Her first experience with this occurred when YU told her that she would have to find a place to stay for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Mouchka ended up staying by a Chabad family and the experience was distressing and uncomfortable for her.
Then she claims that YU closes its doors during the summer, when classes are in session, but not in the winter, when they are not. This is a foolish statement. Anyone who has been signed up for any summer course at YU (aka moi, my friends Malka and Daphne, the list goes on) knows that special apartments (not the regular dorms) are available for use during that time. So this is a poorly researched and incorrect point.
Mouchka then asks:
- Time for a riddle. You don’t live in the city. You don’t have family in New York or New Jersey. For some reason your friends can’t have you, especially with your stuff, or all of your friends come from your hometown and have the same issue as you do. Okay, so you are a good girl and you rent an apartment for June, but no owner has on his calendar a month of rent starting before the 1st because that’s the way the world works. Question: where do you go between the 27th and the 1st? You end up spending four nights on the streets.
1. If you don't want to hold on to all your stuff, there is the option of using CollegeBoxes. Many of my friends did just that- packed up their things and had them kept over the summer, only to return to campus to find them in their new dorm rooms.
2. If you do want to hold on to your all stuff but don't know a single friend in the entirety of New York, there are shuls which have hospitality programs and would be happy to put you up. Perhaps the most obvious choice would be Mt. Sinai in Washington Heights. There are plenty of YU and Stern graduates living in the Heights who could arrange for you to sleep on their couch for four nights.
3. If you have friends who live outside of the city but in Brooklyn, Queens etc, rent a UHaul or a Zipcar and drop off your belongings by their house, stay with them for four days, and then move into your new apartment. If you don't have a license, take a cab.
4. Perhaps the most obvious option: if you know absolutely no one in New York City, then you can take advantage of a youth hostel, motel or hotel and stay there for four days.
However, the fact that you don't understand when the Housing Office at YU calls your situation a "dilemma" demonstrates your lack of comprehension regarding what YU is. YU is a college. It is not your home. It is certainly not your hotel. The fact that you really believe that the only options you were given was to stay in Yeshiva University or stay on the streets simply demonstrates a lack of creative thinking on your part. The 770 option, while along the right track, is an odd idea- there are shuls that offer hospitality; it's your job to call them up, explain your situation and find a community member happy to host you (as people in Washington Heights, for example, would certainly be happy to do).
But Mouchka's not done. Here's her next gem:
"This past January, a friend who wishes to remain anonymous graduated from Stern. She had her last final on January 5th and was required to be out by January 6th. As a pre-med student with no one to help her move out, she emailed the housing administration to explain that with all her finals she had not had time to pack everything, and that she would not be able to be done by shabbat. On Friday night, she was sleeping in her room when, at 3am, security brutally knocked on her door. She had to get out immediately, they demanded. By immediately, I mean immediately. She had to go right now, at 3am, out of the dorms and onto the streets in her pajamas – on Friday night, when you can’t even call anyone, when you can’t go anywhere."
Let me get this right. The administration made perfectly clear that she had to leave on January 6th. She chose not to think. She didn't start packing in advance, she didn't have any friends assist her in packing in advance, then, after flouting the directives, simply told the school she wasn't moving. In that case, she got what was coming to her- namely, the response that you don't get away with breaking the rules.
I've had crazy schedules. I've had finals. And yet, somehow, despite my sleep deprivation and my many tests, I managed to get all my belongings packed and moved out by the due date. If I can do it, so can you, and the fact that you expect to be rewarded for breaking rules and deciding that they simply don't apply to you- that your pre-med status makes everything forgivable- is your own fault.
"Last time Jews kicked other Jews out of their homes, at least the movers had a political agenda. But what is the agenda of a school that claims to welcome every Jewish student but asks security guards to kick those students out at 3am on a Friday night? What does stranding students on the street say about the quality of care for the student, and what does it say about the Jewish values which are fundamental to this institution? There is a lot that we accept from Stern because we believe in its message as a religious institution, but how should we react when the foundation of religion and humanity is absent? How does a demand for sleeves to the elbows and skirts to the knees jive with a housing policy that boots students onto the street in the middle of the night?"
Here's what it says, Mouchka. It says that Yeshiva University and specifically Stern College is a university, not a sanitorium or hotel. It says that the employees need to spend the summer cleaning, repainting and otherwise preparing the dorms so that they will be beautiful, clean and pleasant for students when they move back in. It says that an institution cannot make exceptions for you and your pre-med friend because pretty soon, given that precedent, they are going to have to start making exceptions for everyone, in which case they will never close! It says that you should stop feeling entitled to having the school bend over backwards to accomodate your fellowship needs or your pre-med exhaustion and start doing the bending in order to accomodate their schedule. It says that your comparison of being kicked out of the Stern dorms to Israelis being kicked out of their settlement homes is ugly, heinous and demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge of what that situation was like. What it really says is that you have to start being a grown up. Grown-ups earn things; they don't expect them as their right. Adults comprehend when an institution or system cannot start making exceptions especially for them. They understand that they have to live with their choices. You, for instance, made a choice to attend a fellowship program in New York City. You knew at the time that Stern ended in May and you only started renting an apartment in June. Because of the fact that you made that choice, that's your problem to solve. But demanding that the school stay open later for you and arguing that if they don't do so they demonstrate a lack of humane and religious values is so ludicrous as to be completely pathetic.
In short: grow up.