WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES AUGUST 26, 2021 5
HIGHER ED TODAY
For the first time in 17 months, CUNY’s
campuses will be fully open for the start of
the fall semester.
After nearly a year and a half of almost
exclusively remote instruction, I am
pleased to be able to welcome back our
students, faculty and staff to CUNY for a
new academic year that will offer a more
familiar look, both in the classroom and on
It has been a challenging period, to say
the least, but like the city and state we call
home, our university community is adept
at dealing with adversity. This is reflected
in our theme for the new academic year:
Can’t Stop CUNY.
Approximately 45 percent of the nearly
50,000 course sections across CUNY’s 25 colleges
and campuses this fall will be taught
in a hybrid or in-person format, while some
55 percent will be delivered online.
So much of the CUNY experience revolves
around the sense of belonging and
togetherness we draw from our lives on
campus, and it’s clear from my visits to several
colleges on Aug. 25, the first day of fall
classes, that people are happy to be back
and reconnecting with their classmates
and colleagues after a long time away. For
many of our 260,000 undergraduate and
graduate students, this fall will mark the
first opportunity to participate in campus
At the same time, what is also clear is
that they still have real concerns about the
recent uptick in COVID-19 transmissions
due to the emergence of the Delta variant.
These developments have reignited some of
their anxieties and fears.
I share our students’ excitement and
fully understand their trepidation. It’s
for this reason that I continue to preach
the importance of getting vaccinated and
masking up, since we all know these are
the best tools we have for controlling the
spread of COVID-19. And now, it is more
than a suggestion; it’s mandatory. The full
approval by the FDA for the Pfizer vaccine,
issued on Aug. 23, triggered a 45-day final
deadline for our students to be fully vaccinated,
or they risk being unable to complete
For more than a year, the University
has been preparing to welcome students
back to a more in-person fall with a myriad
of safety initiatives. These protective
efforts included requiring that anyone entering
a CUNY facility for any reason will
need to be fully vaccinated, or show proof
of a negative COVID-19 test taken within
the previous seven days. We now have 18
testing sites up and running on campuses
in all five boroughs, as well as two CUNY
We have conducted a rigorous inspection
of ventilation systems and other essential
safety features in the classrooms,
offices, laboratories, libraries and other
spaces that will be in use. The University
has also reviewed and approved comprehensive
reopening plans for each CUNY
campus and Central Office location,
crafted in accordance with city, state and
I hope these precautions have a reassuring
effect on our students, many of
whom reside in the communities that were
impacted the most by the health and economic
crisis. Their stories of resilience, as
well as their eagerness and concerns surrounding
the fall semester, resonate with
Billing Chen, who won the highly competitive
Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship as a
senior at Queensborough Community College
and used it to transfer to Hunter, is excited
by the opportunity to attend classes
for the first time on the Upper East Side
“I can’t wait to go back to school in person,
to participate with my classmates and
the professors,” said Chen, who plans to
go to dental school after graduation next
“Online, if you don’t understand something
it’s kind of hard to type your questions,”
she said. “I also like to have study
groups, two or three of us who can do
homework or study together, and I love to
visit professors in office hours.”
Olawale Oladapo, an engineering student
at Hostos Community College, voiced
sentiments common among many CUNY
students when he described being excited
to be back on campus but also unsure of
what to expect.
“The first day of school is never comfortable
and now adding COVID to it,”
said Oladapo, “I think it will be a new normal.”
The importance of establishing personal
connections cannot be overstated.
I wish all of our students the best of luck
as they forge ahead in their studies, their
lives and in CUNY’s return to our campuses.
It may indeed be a “new normal,”
as Olawale describes it, but our university
community is well prepared to continue
overcoming challenges together, for each
other and for our city.
As I said: Can’t stop CUNY.
RIDGEWOOD OFFICE PRODUCTS CENTER
“YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP FOR ALL YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS”
1-718-386-3266 We Deliver Or Ship UPS Anywhere
67-16 Fresh Pond Road (Near M Station)
Apartment Buildings and Structures in Ridgewood and surrounding areas.
WE HAVE MANY COMPANIES & PROGRAMS. LET US QUOTE YOUR AUTO/LIFE/HOME.
DON’T DELAY- CALL TODAY AND SAVE!
SERVING OUR COMMUNITY SINCE 1949
MOSER GROUP INC.
We provide most services that your pet
would receive when going to the vet
for a technician visit.
Insured and bonded!
FREE PAPER PROMO
• Office / Home Office Furniture
• Interior Design and Layout
• Fire Proof Safes /
Home Security Boxes
• Computer Printers / Cash Registers
• Printing / Copies / Fax Services
• Rubber Stamps / Name Plates
• Leases / Blumberg Legal Forms
• Art Supplies / Fine Writing Pens
Own A Building?
Check Out Our Rates
FREE INSURANCE QUOTES
73-06 Metropolitan Avenue (2nd Floor)Middle Village, NY (Near 73rd Place)