What leads kids from urban-suburban/indie music settings to get their SDS on and "take over" a cafeteria with a list of demands? Should we mock them, or pity them? Well, we should mock them, yes.
But we can acknowledge the important details: these poor kids mean well. NYU should do a good half of the things in their hilariously wide-ranging list of demands. And these rich dolts were all born into spiritually empty, culture-less, rootless early-21st century American upper-middle class. They can't help that. Had things been a little different, they'd be the midwestern paralegal who writes Hipster Runoff. But no, they went to college. At NYU!
And once you realize your life is destructive and bad and You Are Part of the Problem (forking over how much money to some prick like John Sexton so you can get a useless degree and spend a couple years fucking around with casual sex and cocaine? why not drop out and become a blogger!), well, you either just keep studying sociology with the cute-but-socially maladjusted daughter of the guy from Warrant and bitch darkly about how much you hate these losers or you Rise Up.
So you attempt to assert control and make some positive change to what you know and can conceivably handle—and if you're these kids, you do it like an asshole, with a nonsensical list of utopian goals that'd make an ANSWR organizer blush. (Gaza needs overhead projectors!) Anyone with any sense in their damn heads knows New York University is Not the Enemy, or at least not the enemy of Gaza and The Working Man. It's the enemy of New York, in a kinda blinkered nostalgic sense, but their demands, oddly, do not include "stop fucking with Washington Square and give back all your real estate to people who actually want to live here for serious and maybe re-open The Bottom Line."
It is a ridiculous Ponzi scheme, the tuitions at NYU that rise to bizarre and unconscionable levels, the paltry financial aid, and the adjunct wage-slaves, but the costs rise due to demand and the demand in this case is that all you little idiot Trotskyites wanted to go to the same school as fucking Felicity. (And hey, at least when New School kids have sit-ins they're protesting an actual war criminal.)
And while student activism in decades past was at least defensible as going after one pillar of establishment power, academia in 2009 is just a finishing school for rich kids and a playground for people who'd really like to spend their professional careers wrestling with the least important but most dramatic office politics in the world, so they can someday net that $300k salary and the reduced mortgage, only to get shit on by Politco and the rest of the world for making a living with their book-learnin' elitism.
So our advice to these kids is to go have a fucking cigarette and then Drop Out. Tell your parents to put the tuition money in a trust fund so you can continue living the life to which you were born accustomed as you volunteer to build some fucking houses somewhere, and then when that runs out why not get your degree at CUNY or something so you can sleep better at night.