Here’s what you can expect when attending in-person classes
By: Sabrina Benet & Angelina Salvador
After being fully remote since March of 2020, Provost Parrish of The College of Staten Island has announced in-person classes will resume in the Fall 2021 semester.
The challenges of sudden remote learning affected both students and staff, with struggles such as accessibility to technology, Wifi, or stable learning conditions at home. As technologies advance, and the COVID test and vaccine become available to the general public, there are more possibilities for the Staten Island community to open.
According to an email received by students and faculty, the Provost states that they expect to follow safety guidelines and apply mandatory masks when on campus. This will ensure students who wish to come back, comfortable and safe.
When asked about what students can expect when returning to campus, Hope Berte, Vice President of Campus Planning, Facilities Management, and Operations expressed that the college will be strictly following COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“At this moment under the current CUNY and NYS Guidelines, students/faculty/staff can expect to comply with mandatory face coverings at all times while on campus; social distancing implemented in all buildings, classrooms and office spaces,” Ms.Berte said. “There will be by appointment only student services (no walk-in service); grab and go food service; daily health screening process, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting plan.”
There will be safety precautions implemented by the college, such as a capacity of 25%, which is equal to about 3000 students, staff, and faculty. Mrs. Berte said, “Many courses will be delivered entirely or partially via distance education. Classes with some or all in-person instruction will be prioritized to those with the greatest programmatic need for face-to-face interactions, including accreditation needs, lab experiments, or studio instruction.”
CSI Campus Health, Safety, and Re-Entry Committee made up of students, faculty and staff will continue to discuss and implement additional campus reopening phases.
Mrs. Berte presented that students who wish to continue their synchronous education, are still able to do so. She has also said that there will be many opportunities for learning on-campus as resources and facilities allow.
“Precautions have already been implemented.” Mrs. Berte emphasizes. She explains that there is key management to facilitate on-campus to guarantee compliance with the safety measures from students and staff members of the campus.
Currently, the only people on campus are the Dolphin Cove students and a limited amount of faculty members. There have been several cases reported from the CSI campus and have been announced through emails to the college community.
“In particular, 94% of sections are scheduled to provide remote instruction in the fall. Local area signage and campus communications will reinforce the messaging on the need to maintain social distancing.” See full CSI Campus Re-Entry Plan Here.
In addition to the risk of attending in-person classes, some commuter students are still unsure about traveling to campus.
“Traveling to campus would be scary and difficult for me,” CSI junior Lizabeth Sanchez said. “I personally would not feel safe on the crowded trains and buses. There are still a lot of people refusing to wear their masks and not being cautious. It puts us all at risk.”
Many students were surprised by the reopening news, however, it shows there is still light at the end of the tunnel.
“The email regarding CSI’s campus reopening was shocking,” said Sanchez. “I am happy we are going to be on campus and that I can see my friends, but I am also nervous because the virus is still a risk.”
As of March 10th, there have only been four reported COVID deaths and over 150 new confirmed cases on Staten Island. The status of vaccine distribution is at improved levels, with eligibility to citizens with underlying conditions, adults over 65, first responders, health care workers, school employees, etc.
As we begin this transition as a community, we hope that all CSI students, staff and faculty stay safe during this time.