NYU tour groups are harassed by homeless people in Greenwich Village

It’s a tour de farce.

Prospective New York University students and their parents get an unwelcome taste of the Big Apple’s homelessness crisis as they tour the college’s Greenwich Village campus.

The student-led tour groups are routinely harassed — and even attacked — by begging tramps. Eggs were thrown at a group outside the Goddard Hall dorm in Washington Square East on Monday afternoon.

A guide told the Post this week he was harassed for cash and grabbed by a tramp who demanded money.

In a shocking display to several tour groups, a homeless man was dumped in the middle of West Fourth Street in what leaders say may have been a suicide attempt.

“Something happens every day,” said the guide. “Our duty is to sell the school, showcase our campus and obviously you don’t want to deal with harassment on a daily basis.”

"something happens every day" said a guide.
According to a tour guide, at least one group of traveling students was approached by someone looking for money.
Helayne Seidman

He said visitors to the school — where tuition, room and board will range from $78,440 to $84,169 next year — are not too pleased.

“You can see them visibly disgusted and saying, ‘I don’t want to apply here, I don’t want to apply here because I feel unsafe,'” the guide said.

He added that no one should miss school “just because a homeless person on tour asks for money.”

The guide said visiting students are watching "visibly disgusted" through the harassment.
A guide said visiting students looked “visibly disgusted” by the harassment.
Helayne Seidman

The guides, in their purple jackets with “Admissions Ambassador” written on them, lead small groups around campus, stopping at the charming Washington Mews and in front of the library and student center. But they avidly avoid the college’s most famous landmark—Washington Square Park.

The park and its famous arch have been closed to tours since they resumed last summer after a pandemic-related hiatus.

The park has been a hub of drug trafficking, out-of-control parties, unauthorized boxing matches and violence for the past year. A teenager was stabbed in the head at 2:30 a.m. in the park on March 18 after refusing to hand over his pot.

But even at the edge of the park, guides are being harassed, according to the Washington Square News student newspaper, which reported on the egg-throwing incident.

The newspaper also reported that last year a confused man spat at another guide and followed a mother who exclaimed, “This campus is a bunch of bombs waiting to explode!”

Tour guides give a lecture on campus security, including a recitation on security guards, shuttle buses, and emergency phones.

“Anyone of reasonable intelligence would be concerned about safety in New York City or any other major city,” said a prospective student visiting from Los Angeles, who said he heard a similar safety lecture at Columbia University.

Tour guides stress their game about public safety on the Greenwich Village campus.
Tour guides make it a point to talk about public safety on the Greenwich Village campus.
Helayne Seidman

NYU announced this week that it received a record 105,000 applications for the next year and has offered admission to 12.2 percent of applicants.

An NYU spokesman said tour guides were fitted with walkie-talkies, received de-escalation training and assigned to do two tours at a time to deal with “disruptive individuals.”

Starting Monday, tour groups will be able to enter campus buildings again as the college eases COVID-19 restrictions, spokesman John Beckman said.

An NYU security officer stands guard while tour guides lead groups of parents and prospective students on a campus tour.
An NYU security guard guards the campus.
Helayne Seidman

“NYU, in cooperation with other universities, has reported safety concerns to the new city government, and these admission tour incidents will be among the issues we will be addressing,” Beckman said. NYU tour groups are harassed by homeless people in Greenwich Village


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