New York University (NYU) has changed its COVID-19 Visitor Policy after the New York Post intervened on behalf of a “desperate” law student whose unvaccinated three-month-old baby was banned from entering any building on the campus.
Second-year law student Devorah Neiger is taking four NYU courses and attends school five days a week. As a new mother, she spent weeks begging school officials to allow her to bring her baby son onto the campus so she can breastfeed him between classes. The university repeatedly shot down her request, citing a policy that states only vaccinated guests over the age of five can enter NYU buildings.
Neiger offered a compromise: A vaccinated nanny would sit in an empty campus space with the infant until she could find a few spare moments to feed him.
That, too, was rejected, after the nanny and child were caught in the Furman Hall lobby.
For that infraction, Neiger received an emailed warning from the Director for Diversity and Inclusion.
“This is still a violation of the university’s COVID-19 Visitor Policy which applies to lobby areas as well as interior parts of the building so cannot be a continued practice,” the director informed her.
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“All I want to do is be able to breastfeed my baby when I literally have just 10 minutes between/during classes,” Neiger wrote school officials. “I’m not asking for much.”
“I am in an intensive academic program where I’m told attendance is mandatory or my degree will be jeopardized,” she continued. “You have a mother who is willing, able (and frankly desperate) to try and give her baby everything he needs while pursuing an education.”
“I am so disheartened and surprised by the university’s response and the roadblocks placed in my way,” she added.
As a counteroffer, an NYU official suggested the frazzled mom who was valedictorian of her Baruch College class have her nanny and son wait in a Union Square play space located in a completely different neighborhood or in a public library nearly a mile away.
Naturally, it was an unacceptable plan, especially considering that two of her professors had previously allowed her to bring her son into their classes. One even recalled how she had brought her children to classes when she was in law school.
Crime being what it is in New York City, Neiger said she needed immediate access to her son.
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“I don’t want my baby in random places in Manhattan, especially in a neighborhood riddled with crime,” she said.
And that’s when The Post stepped in and began making some calls.
The paper gave NYU until the end of the day on Thursday to respond to its request for comment, and just as the deadline neared, the university changed its policy.
“NYU regularly reassesses its health and safety protocols, and has recently relaxed a number of Covid-19 restrictions,” the law school’s spokesperson, Michael Orey, told The Post. “In accordance with that trend, our student, and others who are similarly situated, may now bring their children into NYU buildings.”
“They’re making an exception for me,” Neiger told The Post.
“All I want to do is breastfeed my child at the door of the school,” she said. “I’m grateful to NYU for allowing my baby in. It was a relief to have him close by today on campus.”
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