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Sara Ackerman Emails: “My response to Dean Kalb”

Sara Ackerman Emails: “My response to Dean Kalb”

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Published by Zoë Schlanger

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Published by: Zoë Schlanger on Jan 05, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Sara Ackerman Emails: My response to Dean Kalb
From:
Sara E Ackerman <sea271@nyu.edu>
Date
:
January 4, 2012 3:43:25 AM EST
To:
"Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA" <fas-sca-ug-students@lists.nyu.edu>
Cc:
"Undergraduate students minoring, majoring or interested in SCA" <fas-sca-ug-students@lists.nyu.edu>
Subj
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t
:
 
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R
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Sara E Ackerman <sea271@nyu.edu>Dear Dean Kalb,I am actually already in the process of pursuing the grievance procedure, although Iappreciate your suggestion that I do this only now, after I endured a grueling 3 monthsof Professor Zaloom's 'misconduct', and you willingly and knowingly allowed for it tocontinue, despite the fact that it affected my academic work in other classes, causedundue stress to me, my family, and my roommate, and it has now impinged on myWinter Break vacation. Another friend, after hearing about what I have endured, suggested that I pursue thegrievance 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 ownoffice, 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 thisvery contentious situation for about 2-3 months.First of all, allow me to challenge your usage of the term ' clear threat' in your latestemail---I am not threatening NYU, and I explicitly wrote this in my previous emails toyou.I stated, in no uncertain terms, that I am not threatening the university, and I don't recallsaying that the university must meet my particular 'demands' (though I have many, thisis true), but rather, that unless something is done regarding Professor Zaloom's explicitmiscarriages of legal, academic, and social justice (I believe I used this term exactly, butfeel 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 wascleared 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 SCAdepartment. Perhaps if you had helped me earlier, I would not have been compelled todo 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 thestudent 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, andcleared me immediately afterward---I have her card, and she told both myself, and myparents to call her if NYU continues to put PNGs on my head, and to send public mentalhealth servants (Gabriella, from the 'Visiting Nurse Services of New York') to my privatebuilding. Although both these actions carried out by NYU---both the PNG and sending a nurse tomy building--- were completely legal, I'd venture to say that pulling the mental healthcard again, at this stage, is a moot point, after I have already been cleared by NYU'sown mental health exchange.Dean Kalb, for you to continue to suggest that I solicit NYU's wellness exchangeservices 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'sirrelevant).Now, back to op-ed, that has been interpreted as a 'threat' but is actually just a legaland truthful written document, that has the potential to be published in a very famousnewspaper, this coming week.In this op-ed, I describe my interactions with a variety of NYU administrators, andprofessors (only professors, and deans are named---no SCA administrators, and noSCA professors other than Professor Caitlin Zaloom, are named) in which I rationally,and clearly asked for assistance with the Professor Zaloom situation, right from themoment she forced my class to go to Occupy Wall Street for an assignment, despite thefact that I felt my safety would be compromised, and told Professor Zaloom this, in avery 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 toallow 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 arealready quite familiar with them (since they describe exactly what happened, with noembellishments), but let me remind you that when I first approached you and RileyGallagher, 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 Irefused 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 wasunjustly forced to go to a movement that runs entirely against my core values, andprinciples?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 inZucotti 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-edlike 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 throughoutthe semester---the most notable of which, was of course, the last one, when I met withyou, and my mother (with Riley Gallagher as a witness), in which you denied knowingthe 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 inwhich information regarding what Professor Zaloom had been doing for weeks wascontained.Furthermore, I told you, in no uncertain terms, that Professor Zaloom was mistreatingme, humiliating me, impinging on my personal time by not allowing me to ask questionsduring class, and in turn, forcing me to study for more time outside of class, and tosolicit help from my peers.I also told you about how I tried to meet with Professor Zaloom during her office hours (Ihave several emails that Professor Zaloom simply did not respond to---they are sittingright next to me, printed out), as well as the fact that I met with the head of the

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