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Summer interns in NYU’s Rubin Hall living without AC

These interns are getting great experience this summer — at living in a sauna.

Student interns staying at an NYU dorm this July and August say they’ve been boiling alive in their $1,400-a-month dorm rooms — which have no air conditioning and where temperatures can reach 97 degrees. 

The group of young people staying in Rubin Hall say the school’s only plan to help them beat the heat is to provide 12 military-style cots in an air-conditioned common space in the building, which sleeps 680. 

“I lived in India for most of my life, and I thought I would be OK with the summer heat, but no. This is a different kind of heat,” Naveenam Asok, 21, griped to The Post. “I sweat every single day. I just cannot stop sweating … I take a shower, and just start sweating again.”

Asok, who is in the Big Apple for a software engineering internship, said he’s heard stories of his peers passing out from the heat.

Rooms in Rubin have reached 97 degrees, students say, making it impossible to cool down and falling far above the 82.4-degree threshold set by the World Health Organization to avoid heat-related health effects.

Rubin Hall at NYU
Summer interns in NYU’s Rubin Hall have no AC, causing temps to soar into the high 90s.
James Keivom

“If I try to work in my room, I will faint. It’s impossible,” Whitman College student Elijah Shafer told The Post.  “When I walk into my room on the 15th floor, all it smells like is sweat. I live with two other guys in a very cramped space with no AC.”

Shafer, 19, hasn’t been able to get a coveted cot, which doesn’t even have a mattress, because they fill up so fast. 

“The one option is to sleep on a chair, but I’m not going to do that,” he added.

Students can sleep on cots in common areas that have AC
Summer interns can sleep on a cot in a common area that has AC.
Julia Kahen/NY Post

Most NYU dorms do have AC, but the school provides Rubin Hall as a cheaper alternative to its exorbitantly priced rooms.

Students like Shafer, who aren’t affiliated with the school but choose to live in its dorms over the summer, are paying NYU $253 a week for a shared room with no AC. Residents have to fork over $404 a week if they want the same digs with a cooling system.

And while a single room without AC will set you back $345 a week, one with AC costs a whopping $495 a week.

University of Maryland grad student Michael Giwa-Amu, 23, said he only chose to live in Rubin Hall for the cheaper price. 

NYU Rubin Hall
“To subject students to these conditions is unbelievable. It is tarnishing the NYU name so much,” Shafer said.

“I feel like they clearly do not care about the state of the students that come here,” the strategy consulting intern said. “They brought the cots, which was a minor upgrade, but it’s been terrible. I can’t wait to leave, I’m not gonna lie.”

Stanford student Zahran Manley said he didn’t even realize his room wouldn’t be air-conditioned when he moved in, calling the living conditions “awful.” He only chose to live in Rubin Hall because he got a single room.

“At night, the fan is constantly blowing and my room is constantly at least 85 degrees. That has definitely exacerbated my mental health, physical health and has just really made me very anxious,” he said.

NYU Rubin Hall
A sign warns NYU students about moving the cots.

Shafer said NYU is acting like a slumlord. 

“I would expect this from some landlord in the city, but from a publicly funded university? To subject students to these conditions is unbelievable. It is tarnishing the NYU name so much.”

In a statement to The Post, NYU spokesperson John Beckman insisted the school is “totally sympathetic to the plight of Rubin residents” amid this summer’s sweltering heat. He also said that the number of residents using the cots in air-conditioned common spaces “is well below capacity” each night.

NYU bought the un-air-conditioned Rubin as an existing building, Beckman said, adding that the university “has a plan on the books to add AC in 2023 as part of a major overhaul of the building.”

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