The Crazy Department-Wide Emails That Everyone at NYU Is Talking AboutS

At around 3:17 on Wednesday morning, every student in NYU's Department of Social and Cultural Analysis received a bizarre "open letter" to NYU President John Sexton, from a student who claimed she'd been "forced" to do an ethnographic assignment on Occupy Wall Street. It was 2,800 words long, oddly typeset, and quickly followed up by another five equally eccentric emails. Someone sent us the full set of emails, which everyone at NYU—and elsewhere—was talking about. Want to read them?

The background, from what we can tell, is this: Professor Caitlin Zaloom assigned a class to do an ethnographic study of Occupy Wall Street. One student, Sara Ackerman—who objected to being "forced," in her words, to interview "criminals, drug addicts, mentally ill people, and of course, the few competent, mentally stable people"—did not like this. She seems to have complained several times, eventually attempting to confront NYU President John Sexton at Bobst Library; and when he (according to Ackerman) sent her to the "Mental Health exchange," she let fly with the early-morning "open letter."

(The intrepid Myles Tanzer at NYU Local got in touch with Ackerman, who claims, essentially, that her silence was bought with an "A" in the class; he also managed to get a comment from NYU denying Ackerman's claim of a bribery through grading and making it clear that the university believed it had dealt with Ackerman's complaints fairly and thoroughly. We've got our own request for comment in with NYU but feel pretty sure they'd rather not say more about it; I'll update as more information comes in.)

Though the focus of the initial email is ostensibly the Occupy Wall Street assignment, there's a lot more going on: at one point, Ackerman complains that a guest lecturer refused to call on her despite her hand being raised for a minute and 15 seconds ("a long time to keep one's arm raised"); at another, she claims to have placed an op-ed at one of four "reputable papers" (the Washington Post, The New York Times, the New York Observer and the Wall Street Journal) where she has "close family friends" in employment, ready to be published on Thursday. (I asked Observer editor Elizabeth Spiers if she was aware of this; "we don't do op-eds," she told me.)

A number of people we talked to expressed concern for Ackerman's mental state, and, indeed, Ackerman forwarded an email from Professor Zaloom to the SCA listerv—apparently trying to prove Zaloom's misdeeds, but instead sharing what reads like a very fair and patient attempt by a professor to deal with a difficult and disagreeable student.

But why take our word for it? Read the emails yourself—all 4,000 words of them:

From: Sara E Ackerman
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 03:17:57 -0500
To: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
ReplyTo: Sara E Ackerman
Cc: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
Subject: An Open Letter to John Sexton regarding Professor Caitlin Zaloom

Dear President Sexton,

Tonight, I showed up to Bobst Library at around 6:30 pm in a last-ditch effort to convince you to deal with Professor Zaloom via forcing her to resign, or firing her, and instead of coming to meet with me——I admit, I came unannounced, but you seem to have made yourself scarce these last few months, and I deemed the situation urgent—-Joanna from the Mental Health exchange called me.

I had told Sergeant Weitzman—-the NYU officer who filled out my report, and the man whom I asked to help to get me in touch with you—-that if NYU tried to pull 'the mental health card' again, I would go very public.

I would like to remind you that since Professor Zaloom alleged that I 'threatened her safety' (all by emailing her, challenging her in class, and meeting with her during office hours—-how dangerous!!!) (note: I am 5'1 and 105 pounds), and she ordered a PNG to be put on my head a few weeks ago, (by the way, I have confirmed eyewitness reports from certain SCA administrators that people begged Zaloom not to file the security report, as it was right before finals, and I had never threatened her but she did it anyway), I was immediately cleared by a social worker at the NYU Wellness Exchange after I was evaluated. I have the social worker's card, and she recommended that I call her if NYU ever tries to pull that again.

Furthermore, I have no history of mental health issues, I have never been written up by an NYU security guard, I have no criminal record, I have an above average GPA, impressive extracurricular activities, an amazing resume with great recommendations/references, 3 post-graduation job offers, and I have sustained wonderful relationships with many of my previous employers, and NYU professors, over the years.

Alas, it seems you still are not taking me seriously.

This is unfortunate.

Now, here is a very open, and very public letter to you, regarding what has been going on since October.

***To those of you who are new to the situation***:

——Feel free to disregard this email, or feel free to read on if you'd like to formulate your own opinion about the unappealing underbelly of NYU bureaucracy.——-

****Luckily, Professor Caitlin Zaloom's misconduct/unethical behavior can be easily mapped out, and organized in list form...

Oh wait, one other thing:

For starters, here is Associate Professor Caitlin Zaloom's ratemyprofessors page:

http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.js...

Here is her husband, Professor Eric Klinenberg:

http://as.nyu.edu/object/erickli...

~~~~~Now, here is that list, in no particular order~~~~~~:

1. Professor Caitlin Zaloom forced myself, and my classmates to do an ethnographic assignment on Occupy Wall Street a few months ago.

*No alternatives were offered, and we were instructed to interview only those people who were participating in the OWS movement— that means anyone, including criminals, drug addicts, mentally ill people, and of course, the few competent, mentally stable people that stationed themselves at Zuccotti Park

(**note: I did not meet any of the supposedly mentally sound, non-delusional people at Zucotti Park. All of the interviews that I conducted are on video, and clearly show that each person I interviewed—-and believe me, for my own safety, I tried to interview the most seemingly normal people there—-was either mentally disturbed or dangerous, scary or masked, or misogynistic and rude. I was cat-called at, gawked at, ogled, and called derogatory names.)

2. Before I actually went to OWS, I begged Professor Zaloom for an alternative, via her private office hours, in-class requests (by raising my hand, and making these requests in a polite, respectful, and productive way), and emails to her NYU email account.

*I have all of these emails printed out. I have also forwarded them to every member of my family, friends that I trust, and other 'people'.

Professor Zaloom ignored many of my emails, or just told me that I have to do the assignment no matter what.

In one particularly notable email, Professor Zaloom told me that my personal stance on OWS was making 'conceptual progress in the class difficult to sustain.'

The way I interpret this statement is that Professor Zaloom asked me to stop expressing my views in class—by the way,according to the American Constitution, and many academic policies, this is both my legal and academic right, but whatever, I guess that doesn't matter when you're Caitlin Zaloom—-because she realized I was right, or because she could not argue with me without recognizing that the assignment was completely illegitimate and a farce?

If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to reach out! [REDACTED] is my mobile phone number and it will be on all night, as I will be waiting up until 9 am rolls around...

3. Although it went against my core values, moral beliefs, and also made me feel unsafe, I ultimately did go to Occupy Wall Street with my class group——-two other young girls, who are quite attractive and thin, and don't look particularly physically fit enough to take on a potential predator, rapist, paranoid schizophrenic, etc.——just to see if I was being as melodramatic as Professor Zaloom made me feel I was.

***I won't go into detail here, but let me just tell you that if anything, I had previously underestimated how awful Occupy Wall Street was, and I left the park feeling as though I had escaped an extremely dangerous—-and even, life-threatening—-situation.***

4. After sending various emails to Professor Zaloom's account, in which I expressed my discomfort with the assignment for legal, academic, ethical, moral, and safety reasons, and also mentioned these things in class, she finally agreed to meet with me one last time.

During this meeting, I offered to do an alternative in one of two ways:

a. I offered to do a different ethnography, on any topic Professor Zaloom finds to be particularly compelling.

b. I offered to write an essay on Occupy Wall Street, but not an ethnography, as I had no interest in going to, and was also genuinely afraid to go to, Occupy Wall Street.

Not only did Professor Zaloom refuse to give me an alternative, but she also threatened to give me an F on the assignment, should I choose not to complete it.

I pleaded with her, and Professor Zaloom continued to refuse.

I told her that if she absolutely could not offer an alternative, I would have no choice but to take the situation to the next level of NYU administration.

Professor Zaloom told me I could meet with Mary-Louise Pratt, head of the SCA department.

Please note that at this stage, Professor Zaloom thought it was more appropriate that I meet with Professor Pratt than for her to provide me with an alternative herself.

At no point during the meeting did I threaten Professor Zaloom, or question her position as a professor; I did not question her academic competence, nor her convictions, though I had begun to question her ethical compass, and her ability to gauge what is appropriate within an academic setting, and what is not.

The fact that Professor Zaloom thought it was appropriate to send students between the ages of 19-23 to a dangerous site is in and of itself, a horrifying thought, but beyond this, when I protested, and both openly and privately challenged the assignment, in a completely rational way, as well as in a legally and academically well-substantiated manner, Zaloom still refused to offer an alternative, and then cavalierly sent me to Professor Pratt.

I'll skip the parts in which I met with Professor Pratt-who by the way, told me in her own words of course, that I am an intelligent, eloquent orator, with a strong grasp of the concepts and theories taught in SCA——because despite the fact that she complimented me, she too, sent me to someone else—-Dean Richard Kalb.

I will also skip the parts about Dean Kalb, as this email is about Professor Zaloom.

Let's fast-forward to the assignment that was assigned after the ethnographic assignment, which, by the way, I still have not completed.

Dean Kalb, and Riley Gallagher can answer why this is...

5. For the fourth assignment of the semester, we were required to conduct surveys, and Jen Heerwig, a graduate student in the sociology department, was meant to come and assist the class in learning how to gather quantitative data.

I would like to take this opportunity to note that I am an incredibly weak math student, and always have been, and as a result, Jen's guest lectures would have been very helpful for me, as I truly struggle with mathematical concepts—-this is something that I expressed in class, and to Dean Kalb, and Riley Gallagher when I met with them.

Moving on—-with regard to the timeline of Jen's lectures, I am using the syllabus that is on blackboard as a reference point, as I cannot be certain which days she came in, and how those dates relate to the dates on which I met with Dean Kalb, Riley Gallagher, Professor Pratt, and even Zaloom herself.

According to the syllabus that is currently on blackboard...

Jen first came to speak to the class on November 16, 2011

(*note: this was a few weeks after the OWS assignment incident—-at this point, I had arranged with Dean Kalb to do an alternative assignment on the NYPD's response to OWS. However, the alternative essay never did come to fruition—-please keep reading to find out why.).

During Jen's first lecture, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, actively participated, learned a lot, and found Jen to be a very clear, and coherent educator who was open to questions, and enthusiastic about engaging with students, and meeting their academic needs. Jen answered many of my questions, and in my opinion, helped to facilitate the class discussion on data collection for our imminent assignment.

Between Jen's first lecture, and second lecture, the situation with Professor Zaloom continued to become increasingly contentious.

I won't go into detail, again, because you can just direct all questions to Dean Richard Kalb, the man who has been consistently in-the-know about Professor Zaloom's discrimination, unethical behavior, and legally questionable actions, and still did nothing substantial to help me, despite my requests, and pleas for assistance.

DuringJen's 2nd and 3rd lectures, she mostly refused to call on me, even when I was the only student raising my hand.

Other times, I kept my hand up for about 75 seconds—-a long time to keep one's arm raised, by the way—-and Jen still did not call on me, or she dismissed my questions, thoughts, and opinions.

Furthermore, when Jen did call on me, she was incredibly hostile, rude, and condescending—-she acted in a completely different manner than she had before, and she seemed to change her behavior only towards me.

**In my opinion, and from my perspective, Jen continued to treat everyone else in the class in a respectful, kind, and open way.

When I pointed this out, in a completely rational, tame, and respectful way, both Zaloom and Jen dismissed my thoughts—-cutting off my right to the first amendment, yet again.

Again, I won't go into details about it here, but these were the 2 lectures that I walked out of—-and right into Dean Kalb's office, where I begged him to do something for me.

In short, Dean Kalb told me that I could withdraw, take an incomplete, do the paper, or just basically, essentially, give up, and give in.

Again, Riley Gallagher bore witness to all of this, and if I do have to bring NYU to court, she will be legally obligated to testify about Dean Kalb's response to my pleas for help, and assistance.

Here, I will stop, because the rest of what happened involves myself, my family, Dean Richard Kalb, and many other people whom have been negatively impacted by this hurtful, contentious, illegal, academically unethical, and dangerous situation.

****President Sexton, you have already been alerted to all other details of the situation via the emails I have been cc'ing you on over the last 3 months, and you have yet to do anything for me.****

Now would be a good time to step in—-unless of course, you still think that I am bluffing about going to the press—remember, I know people—close family friends, in fact—who work for:

1. WSJ
2. The NY Observer
3. NYT
4. The Washington Post

I have already written the op-ed, and a draft has been approved by one of the reputable newspapers listed above.

In this op-ed, I name you, Dean Richard Kalb, and Mary-Louise Pratt——all those people who are meant to have some power to check on Professor Zaloom, and all of you have profoundly failed in this regard.

It goes without saying that Professor Caitlin Zaloom is named—-I haven't yet decided if I will name Klinenberg.

I have cc'd every CAS dean on this email, as well as any CAS professors whose classes I have taken in the past, and whose opinions I deeply respect, and admire.

I have also cc'd Jen Heerwig—-I don't particularly care about what she has to say, as taking on an immature grad student on a power-trip really doesn't fall high on my list of priorities.

However, I would like to remind you that I have 2 classmates who are willing to testify about Jen's discriminatory behavior that I have described above.

So Jen, please think carefully if you are questioned, as this may very well go to court.

Lastly, I have over 1,000 friends on facebook, and if Professor Zaloom does not resign, or is not fired by 9 am tomorrow morning, I will publish every single email exchange we have had, on my facebook account.

I will also print out this letter, and hand it to students outside of Bobst library.

Again though, because you have wasted so much of my vacation time, and impinged on my study time during finals week by not helping me, this still is not enough.

Starting right now, I will post a status regarding this situation on my facebook wall—-I will not name any names, but after 9 am tomorrow, I will start naming people and I will publicize that Professor Zaloom was a spousal hire—-


I have someone who works for NYU who has confirmed this, and she is willing to reveal her identity, though I personally think this is pointless. I don't need anyone to get in to trouble for no reason—-I have enough evidence on my own, thank you.

It is a little after 11:00 pm on Tuesday, January 3, 2012

If Professor Caitlin Zaloom has not resigned or been fired by Wednesday, January 4, 2012, at 9:00 am, I will publish the op-ed on Thursday.

Again, because you wasted my time these last few weeks, and have also, in turn, forced me to extend the deadline for the op-ed to be published, I will have to make up for that 'publicity' in some other way—-this will be via hourly facebook status updates, which will keep all identities of those involved anonymous until tomorrow, January 4, 2012, at 9:00 am.

Thank you.

All the best,
Sara Ackerman


From: Sara E Ackerman
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 03:20:03 -0500
To: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
ReplyTo: Sara E Ackerman
Cc: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
Subject: Derrick Bell, Cornel West, Caitlin Zaloom, Eric Klinenberg, and Lawrence Summers

Derrick Bell's death was a huge loss for both the academic and social justice community, and Time Magazine pays homage to his impressive accomplishments and valuable life, by naming him 'Person of the Year' in 2011:

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2101745_2102136_2102828,00.html

——->>>>>On a side-note have you ever heard of that mega-university in Cambridge, Mass. called Harvard?

Long story short, they had a few disputes between a tenured professor, and a big man on campus, and look what happened in the end:

They swapped him:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Summers

For him:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornel_West

And got a PR nightmare—-does anyone see the parallels? Or do I have to continue to spell it out for you, as I have been for over 2 months?

Look, neither Summers nor West is perfect, but why don't you do a little research to see who was more deserving of a prominent position at Harvard?

Thanks.

All the best,
Sara


From: Sara E Ackerman
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 03:22:52 -0500
To: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
ReplyTo: Sara E Ackerman
Cc: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
Subject: That time I speculated that Professor Zaloom was a spousal hire...this has basically been confirmed to be true...

http://www.ade.org/reports/spousal_hiring.htm

Professor Zaloom's NYU page, as an Associate Professor:

http://anthropology.as.nyu.edu/object/CaitlinZaloom.html

**note: I know for a fact that associate professors cannot be tenured.

Professor Klinenberg's NYU page, as a Professor of Sociology; Director of Graduate Studies:

http://as.nyu.edu/object/ericklinenberg.html

He's even on Wikipedia! This guy must be kind of a big deal...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Klinenberg

**note: It isn't lost on me that Jen, the graduate student who came to help out our class, and was subsequently told to discriminate against me, via not calling on me in class and acting rude and condescending when she did, is from the sociology department where Eric is the director—-how fascinating.

All the best,
Sara Ackerman


From: Sara E Ackerman
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 03:34:01 -0500
To: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
Cc: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
Subject: After I expressed dissatisfaction with Professor Zaloom's assignment, this is one of the ways she responded...

An email I received from Professor Zaloom in early November:
————————————————————————————-

Sara,
Your personal positions on OWS have begun to make conceptual progress in our class difficult to sustain. I understand that you feel passionately. Now it is time for you to conduct your research and it is your responsibility as a researcher to understand how your own perspectives are shaping the kinds of knowledge you are able to produce. It is up to you to analyze the material you choose to incorporate in your ethnography. Next Wednesday we move forward to our class on ethnographic analysis and writing I would like to hear from you on those issues. I would also like for you to hold yourself to the class themes.

CMZ

————————————————————————-

****A NOTE:

The email above is an example of a professor potentially violating this idea/policy/theory/concept/whatever you'd like to call it:

http://www.campusspeech.org/academic_freedom

I am now just using that right, to its fullest capacity—-


From: Sara E Ackerman
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 03:41:20 -0500
To: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
ReplyTo: Sara E Ackerman
Cc: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
Subject: From Dean Richard Kalb, to me, a couple of days ago—-

Dear Sara:

Over the past week, you have sent several e-mails to a number of University officials concerning Professor Caitlin Zaloom, a faculty member in the College of Arts and Science, in whose class you were enrolled this past fall semester.

Although apparently intended to express your disagreement with assignments and statements allegedly made by Professor Zaloom during that class, these e-mails also contained serious allegations of misconduct by Professor Zaloom and disparaging statements about her professional competence. In addition, you also have made a clear threat to the President of the University that, unless he accedes to your demands that Professor Zaloom be dismissed from the faculty by a specified date, you will "go public" with your allegations.

Sara, you are entitled to express your disagreement with the manner in which a faculty member conducted a class and/or to engage in a discourse about the issues being considered in a course, provided that it is done in a respectful and civil manner. However, the standards of conduct and civility that govern interactions among members of the University community may have been violated by the hostile and threatening statements in your emails. I strongly urge you to refrain from any further communications of this nature, which could put you at risk of University disciplinary action.

If you do wish to contend that Professor Zaloom violated University policies, there is a formal process to do so. In accordance with paragraph III of the Student Grievance Procedure (http://www.nyu.edu/content/dam/nyu/compliance/documents/student_grievance.pdf ) you should send a letter to Dr. Thomas Carew, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science, in which you cite the specific policies you contend Professor Zaloom violated and include evidence of the manner in which the violations occurred. Your complaint will be given serious consideration.

Sara, this seems to be a continuation of the same matter about which I met with you and your mother a few weeks ago after the disruption in Professor Zaloom's class. At that time I advised you that further disruptions would not be tolerated. The University has offered support through Wellness Services to assist you in dealing with the situation in a more productive manner, and I have advised you of the formal mechanism for filing a complaint. I truly hope you take advantage of these resources. Please understand, however, that if you engage in any further forms of disruptive or hostile behavior, you may be risking your standing as a student at the University.

Regards,

Richard Kalb


From: Sara E Ackerman
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 03:43:25 -0500
To: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
ReplyTo: Sara E Ackerman
Cc: Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA
Subject: My response to Dean Kalb—and now I'll stop emailing all of you—-thanks so much, and I apologize for the nuisance—-

Dear Dean Kalb,

I am actually already in the process of pursuing the grievance procedure, although I appreciate your suggestion that I do this only now, after I endured a grueling 3 months of Professor Zaloom's 'misconduct', and you willingly and knowingly allowed for it to continue, despite the fact that it affected my academic work in other classes, caused undue stress to me, my family, and my roommate, and it has now impinged on my Winter Break vacation.

Another friend, after hearing about what I have endured, suggested that I pursue the grievance procedure, so I have been working on it all weekend.

It is very unclear to me why no one from NYU's faculty, administration, or your own office, alerted me to this process until today, the day before I 'threatened' (in your words), to go public, despite the fact that I have been in touch with you regarding this very contentious situation for about 2-3 months.

First of all, allow me to challenge your usage of the term ' clear threat' in your latest email—-I am not threatening NYU, and I explicitly wrote this in my previous emails to you.

I stated, in no uncertain terms, that I am not threatening the university, and I don't recall saying that the university must meet my particular 'demands' (though I have many, this is true), but rather, that unless something is done regarding Professor Zaloom's explicit miscarriages of legal, academic, and social justice (I believe I used this term exactly, but feel free to correct me), I will go public.

I am merely telling you what has the potential to happen—-the op-ed is already written, and has been approved by a friend at a very reputable newspaper.

I don't know why telling the truth is now being interpreted as a threat.

Furthermore, the information contained in my latest emails should come as no surprise, as you've been hearing about them for almost 3 months, both before and after I was cleared by the mental health center, with a clean bill of mental health.

You also heard about these issues before I decided to email blast the entire SCA department. Perhaps if you had helped me earlier, I would not have been compelled to do such a thing.

Again though, while my emails may be a 'nuisance' they are entirely legal, and truthful, and NYU has absolutely no right to discipline me for sending them out. Please read the student handbook.

With regard to your suggestions that I seek help for my 'mental health':

You can speak to the NYU wellness exchange social worker who evaluated me, and cleared me immediately afterward—-I have her card, and she told both myself, and my parents to call her if NYU continues to put PNGs on my head, and to send public mental health servants (Gabriella, from the 'Visiting Nurse Services of New York') to my private building.

Although both these actions carried out by NYU—-both the PNG and sending a nurse to my building—- were completely legal, I'd venture to say that pulling the mental health card again, at this stage, is a moot point, after I have already been cleared by NYU's own mental health exchange.

Dean Kalb, for you to continue to suggest that I solicit NYU's wellness exchange services merely indicates to me that NYU realizes how serious I am about going public, and this is the last trick it has in the rabbit's hat (perhaps I am wrong, but that's irrelevant).

Now, back to op-ed, that has been interpreted as a 'threat' but is actually just a legal and truthful written document, that has the potential to be published in a very famous newspaper, this coming week.

In this op-ed, I describe my interactions with a variety of NYU administrators, and professors (only professors, and deans are named—-no SCA administrators, and no SCA professors other than Professor Caitlin Zaloom, are named) in which I rationally, and clearly asked for assistance with the Professor Zaloom situation, right from the moment she forced my class to go to Occupy Wall Street for an assignment, despite the fact that I felt my safety would be compromised, and told Professor Zaloom this, in a very clear and coherent way.

I explain the way I begged Professor Zaloom, via email, private office hours, and in-person requests in class (with my peers as my witnesses), to not make me go, and to allow me to do a different, safer assignment.

This went on for weeks before I met with you Dean Kalb.

I don't want to bore you with the details of your own parts within the op-ed, as you are already quite familiar with them (since they describe exactly what happened, with no embellishments), but let me remind you that when I first approached you and Riley Gallagher, and I told you that I had already physically gone to Occupy Wall Street (again, this was by force, since Professor Zaloom threatened that I could take an F if I refused to do the assignment, and that she would not give me an alternative, no matter what), you told me to just 'write the paper anyway, since I had already gone'.

Really? I should write the paper anyway?

Even though you knew that my safety was unnecessarily compromised, and that I was unjustly forced to go to a movement that runs entirely against my core values, and principles?

Even though a woman had already been raped at OWS, and I mentioned this to you?

Even though there was explicitly dangerous drug use at the site?

Even though mentally ill people, and criminals had started to take up residence in Zucotti park?

I mentioned all of this to you, and you did nothing substantial to help me.

What does this sound like to you Dean Kalb? What would you think if you read an op-ed like the one I am describing is already written and ready to be published, with your name in it?

Please keep in mind that I am not threatening you, just telling—-just painting a picture.

In addition to all of this, I describe your deliberate refusal to assist me when Professor Zaloom openly and outwardly discriminated against me.

I also discuss, in great detail, the 4 separate occasions that I met with you throughout the semester—-the most notable of which, was of course, the last one, when I met with you, and my mother (with Riley Gallagher as a witness), in which you denied knowing the full details, and severity of Professor Zaloom's discrimination, and reckless behavior both within and outside of the classroom, despite the fact that I sent you many emails in which information regarding what Professor Zaloom had been doing for weeks was contained.

Furthermore, I told you, in no uncertain terms, that Professor Zaloom was mistreating me, humiliating me, impinging on my personal time by not allowing me to ask questions during class, and in turn, forcing me to study for more time outside of class, and to solicit help from my peers.

I also told you about how I tried to meet with Professor Zaloom during her office hours (I have several emails that Professor Zaloom simply did not respond to—-they are sitting right next to me, printed out), as well as the fact that I met with the head of the department, Mary-Louise Pratt, and again, no one with any real power, and no one in a position above Professor Zaloom's tried to help me.

I won't continue paraphrasing the completely legal, and truthful op-ed, as I don't want to spoil the surprise if it does indeed get printed tomorrow, but let me just point out one last apparent issue in your email:

"Sara, you are entitled to express your disagreement with the manner in which a faculty member conducted a class and/or to engage in a discourse about the issues being considered in a course, provided that it is done in a respectful and civil manner. However, the standards of conduct and civility that govern interactions among members of the University community may have been violated by the hostile and threatening statements in your emails. I strongly urge you to refrain from any further communications of this nature, which could put you at risk of University disciplinary action."

In what world would the university have any right to discipline me? I have evidence that the university did not protect me when a professor indirectly threatened my safety.

I have further evidence that the university was aware of this, did nothing, and then lied about it to my own parents (again, Riley Gallagher has witnessed all of this, and she would be legally obligated to testify about what she saw, regardless of the fact that she is employed by NYU, should this go to court) about it.

I have evidence that the university harassed me with threats about the soundness of my mental health, when all I did was voice my opinion, and stand up for my beliefs (again, in a legal way, despite Zaloom's illegal behavior).

I have more to say—much more—-but I think you get the picture.

Do not ever threaten me again with disciplinary action regarding this situation, or I will send the op-ed out right now.

Thanks.

All the best,
Sara Ackerman