New York City is quiet and empty, as opposed to the usual commotion of the city. Many Lehigh students returned home to New York City, which is greatly affected by the coronavirus. (Jessica Post/B&W Staff)

NYU dorms may be converted into hospital beds, student summer plans may have to change

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As available hospital beds are becoming scarce in New York City due to the rising numbers of COVID-19 patients, officials said the city may begin housing patients in alternative locations such as hotels and dormitories, including those at New York University. 

NYU medical students have been given the option to graduate early and assist in the fight against coronavirus. 

While NYU hosts many of their own summer programs, the school provides additional housing for students interning in New York City over the summer. If the effects of this pandemic were to carry into the summer, it may put some of these students’ housing at risk. 

Elizabeth Tully, ‘21, will be interning at Bank of America Merrill Lynch from June until August. She has arranged to stay in Alumni Hall, one of NYU’s residence halls, for the duration of her internship. 

Caroline Tully, ‘21, will be staying with her sister, Elizabeth, in Alumni Hall over the summer as she completes her internship at Cowen, a boutique investment bank. 

“We’re not in a traditional dorm, we’re in an apartment-style room, so I don’t know if our building would be most ideal for medical patients,” Elizabeth Tully said. 

According to both Elizabeth and Caroline, there has been little to no communication at all from the university about the situation. 

The sisters said they understand the severity of the situation and the need for patient housing. In the event that the university does have to convert dorms into hospital beds, they said they plan to continue their internship programs while living elsewhere.

“It is totally unprecedented,” Caroline Tully said. “I would just want some communication, because we haven’t heard anything.” 

Elizabeth said they wouldn’t want to cancel their internships altogether, as the commute from their home in Long Island is manageable. She said, however, they would ideally like to live in the city, and would consider looking into short-term lease options if it came to that point.

Andrew Zhang, ‘20 accepted a summer internship in New York City working in the health care division of a consulting company. He plans to live in one of the NYU residence halls as well. 

Like the Tullys, Zhang said he is uncertain of the status of his summer dorm, as he has not heard anything from the school. 

“I started looking into alternative methods, such as an Airbnb for the summer,” Zhang said. “It kind of depends on how everything pans out over the next couple of weeks. I am just keeping updated with the news and taking it day-by-day.”

Zhang said he is concerned that his internship may also be at risk of getting canceled, on top of his other concerns about housing. He said a few of his friends have already had their internships canceled. 

“Things are getting worse by the day, and it doesn’t seem like things will be lightening up anytime soon, so I’m not very optimistic about both my internship and the housing (situation),”  Zhang said. 

Zhang said he believes that rather than completely canceling the internship, it may be possible for students to intern remotely if NYU housing is shut down.

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