Early Tuesday morning, a flyer reading “Dear Admitted Students: You will not get to make your thesis film” was seen posted on the walls of the Tisch School of the Arts. Deemed the capstone for undergraduate students in the Film & TV program, “Advanced Production” is a year-long course for juniors and seniors to create their senior thesis. But up until Tuesday evening, 47 students were not admitted into the course based on class size and registration times.
Since then, another section of the course has since been added to resolve the issue.
With over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at NYU, students have all experienced the Battle Royale-like process of registering for classes each semester. After three years of hard work and high tuition, getting into your top classes should be a cakewalk. Well, this wasn’t the case for Film & TV junior Greyson Horst.
After being waitlisted for the class, Horst created a flyer voicing his and fellow students’ grievances.
“Out of several hundred undergraduate Film and Television students admitted each year, only 30 will direct an Advanced Production,” Horst wrote on the flyer. “Film and Television seniors are being asked to take intermediate level courses again. The most expensive film school in the world does not have the resources to accommodate their students.”
While every student experiences similar registration issues, “Advanced Production” is different. For some students, it is their only chance to make a short film of that caliber. For others, like Tisch junior Josh Whalen, it is their reason for attending NYU.
“I transferred from a state school in Georgia so I could have the opportunities that a Tisch degree affords me,” Whalen told WSN. “One of those opportunities, as advertised by the school, is the ability to make a capstone film. It’s there to help you make a name for yourself and launch you into the industry. If you’re talented and the film is good, it can take you far.”
The flyers that hung in the halls of the Film & TV department gained significant traction on social media — students shared the flyer on their Instagram stories with the caption: “Spread the word.”
“[I] support this all the way,” Tisch junior Lorenzo Conti wrote on his Instagram story and Facebook page. “I’m [ninth] on the waitlist for a class I’ve been looking forward to since I got to college. My roommate didn’t even get to be on it … this is an issue and it needs to be addressed.”
While Horst and other students declined to formally comment, they did inform WSN that an another section of the course had been added. According to an email from the Director of Administration for Film & New Media Wendy Kaplan Goldberg, the first eight students of each section’s waitlists would be granted priority to enroll for the new section of “Advanced Production.” The section is offered on Fridays with no instructor attached at the time of this writing.
According to emails exchanged between Horst and Goldberg, adding a fourth section was a challenge, but it was one the department was willing to take.
“In this department, it is not as simple as just finding a room and an instructor,” Goldberg wrote in the email. “It is a complex issue without a simple solution, but please rest assured that we are looking at this very seriously and hope to have a solution soon.”
A version of this article was published at nyunews.com on April 26, 2018.