Words and graphics by Aspasia Celia Tsampas
Today, March 9th, a majority of New York City University’s, including Fordham, NYU, and Columbia, have all announced temporary closures and online classes as Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for New York State as the number of COVID-19 cases rose to 89 this past weekend. Nonetheless, CUNY, and The City College of New York, remain open, despite calls/concerns from students.
In the notice, Governor Cuomo advised New Yorkers to take the utmost precaution against the coronavirus with frequent hand washing, practice social distancing, and avoiding mass transit. However, as CUNY is home to a number of diverse students from all over New York, where many of whom have to use mass transit to commute to class.
The City College of New York and its President, Vincent Boudreau, have been closely monitoring the situation with constant updates sent to students, faculty, and staff via the citymail email portal.
In the most recent update, President Boudreau called upon the City College Community to start preparing instructions for classes using remote learning protocol, or online classes. They have asked professors to begin converting their material to an online platform in the event in which the situation escalates and classes will be canceled.
This message from President Boudreau was followed by a comprehensive list of resources for remote instruction and learning for a potential COVID-19 Campus Closing from the Office of the Vice President of Operations, Ken Iher.
As CUNY is a public institution and connected to all public schools across New York City, the reluctance and hesitation to close schools comes from the reality that many students and families rely on these public schools to provide childcare, food, and other necessities to its students.
Nonetheless, many CUNY students are enraged and have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on CUNY being one of the only universities in New York City to remain open despite the great risk. #CUNY was trending on Twitter following numerous statements and memes from students sharing their thoughts on the matter:
For now, as City College classes remain open, please remember to take all the precautions you can to ensure the safety of you and your peers. Learn more about the coronavirus and how to prevent it’s spread here!