Letter to the editor — CUNY must take action against virus

David O'Brien

Given the 24-hour hysteria regarding the growing COVID-19 threat, which seems well on its way towards becoming a pandemic, I find myself remembering the last great communal health scare — the SARS epidemic of 2002 to 2004. Like today, the news programs were filled with doom and gloom about the expansion of a deadly infectious disease, but unlike today, the administration of Baruch College then seemed to have noticed. 

The lobby of the Newman Vertical Campus building had multiple devises offering hand sanitizer, and I remember watching hundreds of students and workers entering and leaving the building with a brief stop to apply sanitizer to their hands, and on each floor near the elevators there were other dispensers as well. 

Today we have the same notices of gloom and doom on the 24-hour news cycle about the threat of a communally infectious disease, but the Baruch administrators seem not to have noticed. I noticed a single hand sanitizer device in the lobby to the NVC building, tucked away largely out of sight and empty of sanitizer. 

One of the security officers said to me that this dispenser hadn’t worked a single day as far as he could see. The news programs keep telling us to use hand sanitizers frequently, but the college seems uninterested in the problem, unable or disinterested to provide what was amply available in the last infectious health threat. To the administration: Show us that you have some interest in the health of those who study and work here. 

To the unions that represent those who work here: Shouldn’t there be grievance procedures already underway about the lack of involvement of the school in this growing health crisis facing our workplace?

To the students: Why are you not demanding that the Baruch Administration show that they care about your health and wellbeing?