New York University
New York University (NYU) is a school of "higher education" located in Greenwich Village. You will make tasteless jokes about NYU students for about a semester before you realize it makes you look insecure. Then you will try to join their fun scene downtown, to no avail. NYU students will claim that you will be secretly jealous that the cast of Gossip Girl decided to go to NYU instead of Columbia for the show's third season. However, it's very important to note that Gossip Girl is fictional. It's even more important to note that Gossip Girl's characters eventually hate NYU and transfer to Columbia for season 4.
Evolution of NYU students
Most naive NYU applicants do not realize that NYU does NOT have needs-blind admissions. As a result, all commoners, however intelligent, are rejected in favor of wealthy applicants whose parents make ridiculous amounts of money in professions that exploit people.
NYU students enter college thrilled. They have a dorm room in some of the coolest, most expensive real estate in the country, and have landed in what was, until 2009, America's "#1 dream school". The kids from Jersey can finally live out their suburban fantasy of hitting St. Mark's Place every night! That, plus there are copious dining hall choices, until they discover Pommes Frites on 2nd Ave, which eliminates the need for other foods. Academically, NYU freshmen might still be confused at this point: should they major in studio art or graphic design? By the end of the year almost all male heterosexuality has vanished from the freshman class.
Exile: NYU begins preparing students for real life early by introducing the commute. Nearly all NYU sophomores are packed off to housing in Chinatown and the Financial District, taking cutesy little trollies back and forth to "campus"...usually someplace blocks and blocks from class. That wasn't in the brochure! Entire iPods of the latest, greatest indie groups are recycled while the trollies get snarled in traffic, and without access to Pitchfork to get updates on which one-named bands to listen to next, NYU students become passive-aggressive. They begin dreaming of taking out their rage on a keyboard, preferably in A-flat minor (or A minor because he/she hasn't grasped accidentals yet...and never will). This is a period of great trials.
Just before NYU students consider turning in their skinny jeans and Converses for transfer recommendations, the university smiles upon them. They are placed in hermetically sealed, climate-controlled outposts across the Third World. Study abroad NYU style was clearly designed for students of the Stern School of Business - practice for a life of returning to fluffed pillow and fresh mints on the bed. Here NYU students' social awareness is born: witness the benign sweatshops of American Apparel versus the hellholes where employees of other expensive Western clothing outlets toil.
Forget university housing (or let it forget them) - two years in the city plus one in the bush have made NYU seniors real New Yorkers. They're living in apartments in Alphabet City now, not just because it has no subway access and it requires three hours of walking to get to class (they bought bigger iPods). No, it's the thing to do as you prepare for the leap to Williamsburg and beyond. After a brief stroll through the pomp, circumstance, and arcade games of Graduation Alley they are NYU alumni, and they're all staying in, of course, New York. The city opens its arms wide - what more does it need than 85,000 new interpretive dance majors?
Of course, NYU is also a full-fledged university, with a complete complement of graduate schools. At Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia students who choose to betray Alma Mater can earn professional degrees in such fast-growing fields as Costume Design. NYU's law school is actually a top choice for many Columbia alums, because it is seen as less "evil" than Columbia's variant. This is clearly because its most famous alumnus, Rudy Giuliani, was the most kindhearted mayor in New York City history.
Campus design: fail
What's not so well known about NYU today is that they used to have their own McKim, Mead, and White designed campus, built around a domed library, which they then had to sell off to pay the bills: the University Heights (Bronx) campus, which was built around the same time as Columbia's move to Morningside Heights.
And here's the real difference between NYU and Columbia: NYU nearly went bankrupt in 1973 and sold off its campus to New York City. So NYU slunk back to its then-decrepit Washington Square Park, Bronx Community College is now located in a gorgeous MMW-designed campus, and we're still sitting pretty on our pretty campus. Take that!
Columbia students can enjoy a number of NYU's unique advantages without ever having to associate themselves with the color purple or an English-language diploma.
What also might not be so obvious is the fact that all Columbia students with a valid CUID have access privileges to NYU's Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on Washington Square South through a reciprocal agreement between the two schools.
One might suppose posting this may result in an influx of pseudo-hipsters at Butler, but one must remember that NYU kids don't study due to a lack of literacy. This means that Bobst Library is almost always empty, except when used as a homeless shelter.
Columbia has a reciprocal agreement with NYU to allow students to take whichever languages their own school does not offer at the other. In practice, this means there are a lot of options open to NYU students, and that Columbia students have the option to shuttle downtown if they ever want to take Gaelic or Cantonese.
The NYU "Bobcats" are named after the computerized library catalog, BOBst CATalog, but it's certainly an improvement over their former name ("Violets"; seriously, you can't make this stuff up). Naturally, they no longer boast a football team. However, they are, like Columbians, mean fencers.