NYU might be leaving their poorest low-income students with mountains of debt thanks to their enormous tuition costs, but that's nothing compared to the atrocities they've committed against students they don't have room for on campus. The Times has the brutal story today about the 145 or so overflow students who have been cruelly pressured into living at Manhattan NYC, a $300/night Affinia Hotel in Midtown near Madison Square Garden. Their lives may be filled with hardship and sorrow, but their stories shall be heard.

There's Anton Sorkin, a 19-year-old sophomore who somehow finds the strength to endure.

The hotel room he shares with a roommate is outfitted with two double beds, a desk, a flat-screen TV, a coffee maker, a two-burner Miele gas cooktop, a microwave, and an iPhone docking station. Housekeeping comes twice a week to clean the room, change the sheets and refresh the bathroom, including changing the towels and refilling the shampoo and conditioner, which are dispensed via pump bottles.

The basement has a 24-hour gym and a Ping-Pong table. Room service, while not part of the meal plan, is available to students who leave a credit card on file with the front desk. Mr. Sorkin said this amenity is beyond his student budget. (“Two eggs your way,” which comes with a side of bacon or sausage, is $14, in addition to the 17 percent service charge.) He has considered using the dry-cleaning service, however, as it’s only a few dollars more than the place down the block.

Sorkin, whose Midtown accommodations are "a bit of a trek from his classes and school cafeterias in Greenwich Village," is just about at his breaking point, and is planning on running away across the globe to study in Shanghai next semester. He'd "definitely give it three-and-a-half, four stars," but we can all agree that anything less than five stars is completely unacceptable. This is NYU, not Baruch.

Tom Ellett, the senior associate vice president for student affairs at New York University, struggled to try to change the bleak narrative, but it became clear his conscience was overwhelmed by the weight of the students' struggles:

By putting students up at Manhattan NYC, he noted, the university can continue to maintain certain standards offered in the dorms, including kitchenettes for upperclassmen, at least one bathroom for every room or suite (as opposed to a common bathroom with shower stalls down a hall) and a certain level of security. Also, because N.Y.U. needed extra housing for only one semester this year, a 16-week arrangement, there were few alternatives. “What other options were there out there?” Mr. Ellett said in an email. “If you know of any, please let us know!”

And all the free chilled water flavored with cucumber and lemon, 24-hour gyms, and easily-accessible ice machines can't fix the fundamental flaws with the situation. After all, you can't put lipstick on a tourist and expect them to just know how awful Midtown is, right?

Still, there are drawbacks to hotel life — for one, the location on Seventh Avenue at 31st Street. Students use MetroCards provided by the university to commute to class and cafeterias on campus in Greenwich Village. They also must contend with throngs of tourists and commuters flooding in and out of nearby Penn Station, Madison Square Garden and Macy’s department store. “I don’t want to sound like a stereotypical N.Y.U. kid saying: ‘Oh, I hate Midtown,’ ” said Zach Barela, a 19-year-old-sophomore majoring in acting, “but it does get so crowded that walking like a few blocks can take forever.”

His fellow hotel resident, Mr. Sorkin, tries to avoid luggage-toting tourists milling around the lobby by using a side entrance.

Adding insult to having-to-brush-shoulders-with-tourists injury, there is no community (except for the 144 other students staying there): "It doesn't really feel like a community," said Barela, likely while taking very depressing selfies. "I don't even know if there are any other students on my floor." Oh sure, there are five R.A.'s in the building, but an R.A does not a home make. Even worse: some regular hotel guests occasionally confuse the students with hotel workers, forcing students into interacting with strangers and being helpful against their wills: "The concierge is not available during the nighttime, so a lot of hotel guests come up to us," said Ehrenkranz, who is a resident assistant himself. "I helped a lovely couple find a restaurant nearby."

And, dear god, what about the partying? HOW WILL THE UNDERCLASSMEN PARTY TO THE MAX?

As much as hotel living may seem more conducive to parties, students say that’s not necessarily the case. One reason: Neighboring hotel guests can complain to the front desk if things get out of hand. If that happens, students not only get a knock on their door from hotel security; their resident assistant is also notified.

“The hotel has stricter policies than we do,” said Naftali Ehrenkranz, a 21-year-old resident assistant studying dramatic writing, who lives at the hotel in a room with a couch and a king-size bed. “Students realize they don’t want to give up this hotel experience so they don’t want to screw it up.”

Note: NYU students living at the Manhattan NYC hotel pay $7,942 a semester for housing, but that's no big deal, since that's what they'd be paying anyway at NYU, LOL.