NYU senior Sara Ackerman engaged in a war with college administration over her refusal to do a class assignment about the Occupy Wall Street protests.
NYU Local reports that the drama became public around 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning, when Ackerman sent out a series of bizarre emails chronicling the conflict. It began over an ethnographic assignment on Occupy Wall Street, which Ackerman said "forced" her to talk to "criminals, drug addicts, mentally ill people, and of course, the few competent, mentally stable people that stationed themselves at Zuccotti Park."
She wrote that her one visit to the protests -- with "two other young girls, who are quite attractive and thin, and don't look particularly physically fit enough to take on a potential predator, rapist, paranoid schizophrenic, etc." -- left her feeling like she had "escaped an extremely dangerous -- and even, life threatening -- situation." She refused to do the project, and requested an alternate assignment.
Ackerman's emails also singled out the class's TA for not calling on her in class, even though she left her hand up for 75 seconds on one occasion. Read the full emails at NYU Local.
Ackerman went on to lodge complaints with other administration members and university president John Sexton, who referred her to the school's mental health center. She threatened to post the emails to Facebook and go to the press (she touted having "1,000 friends on Facebook and "close family friends" at four major newspapers), unless her professor was fired.
She said that she was offered an A in the course after her email blasts. NYU Vice President of Public Affairs John Beckman denied that report, and told NYU Local, "We looked into the complaint and found the accusations were unwarranted."